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Published March 3, 2014 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Resting-state functional connectivity imaging of the mouse brain using photoacoustic tomography


Resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) imaging is an emerging neuroimaging approach that aims to identify spontaneous cerebral hemodynamic fluctuations and their associated functional connections. Clinical studies have demonstrated that RSFC is altered in brain disorders such as stroke, Alzheimer's, autism, and epilepsy. However, conventional neuroimaging modalities cannot easily be applied to mice, the most widely used model species for human brain disease studies. For instance, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of mice requires a very high magnetic field to obtain a sufficient signal-to-noise ratio and spatial resolution. Functional connectivity mapping with optical intrinsic signal imaging (fcOIS) is an alternative method. Due to the diffusion of light in tissue, the spatial resolution of fcOIS is limited, and experiments have been performed using an exposed skull preparation. In this study, we show for the first time, the use of photoacoustic computed tomography (PACT) to noninvasively image resting-state functional connectivity in the mouse brain, with a large field of view and a high spatial resolution. Bilateral correlations were observed in eight regions, as well as several subregions. These findings agreed well with the Paxinos mouse brain atlas. This study showed that PACT is a promising, non-invasive modality for small-animal functional brain imaging.

Additional Information

© 2014 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). The authors acknowledge and thank Prof. James Ballard, for his close look at the manuscript. This work was sponsored in part by National Institutes of Health grants R01 EB000712, R01 EB008085, R01 CA134539, R01 CA159959, U54 CA136398, R01 EB010049, and DP1 EB016986 (NIH Director's Pioneer Award). L.W. has a financial interest in Microphotoacoustics, Inc. and Endra, Inc., which, however, did not support this work.

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