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Published June 2020 | Published
Journal Article Open

Wave of single-impulse-stimulated fast initial dip in single vessels of mouse brains imaged by high-speed functional photoacoustic microscopy


Significance: The initial dip in hemoglobin-oxygenation response to stimulations is a spatially confined endogenous indicator that is faster than the blood flow response, making it a desired label-free contrast to map the neural activity. A fundamental question is whether a single-impulse stimulus, much shorter than the response delay, could produce an observable initial dip without repeated stimulation. Aim: To answer this question, we report high-speed functional photoacoustic (PA) microscopy to investigate the initial dip in mouse brains. Approach: We developed a Raman-laser-based dual-wavelength functional PA microscope that can image capillary-level blood oxygenation at a 1-MHz one-dimensional imaging rate. This technology was applied to monitor the hemodynamics of mouse cerebral vasculature after applying an impulse stimulus to the forepaw. Results: We observed a transient initial dip in cerebral microvessels starting as early as 0.13 s after the onset of the stimulus. The initial dip and the subsequent overshoot manifested a wave pattern propagating across different microvascular compartments. Conclusions: We quantified both spatially and temporally the single-impulse-stimulated microvascular hemodynamics in mouse brains at single-vessel resolution. Fast label-free imaging of single-impulse response holds promise for real-time brain–computer interfaces.

Additional Information

© 2020 The Authors. Published by SPIE under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. Distribution or reproduction of this work in whole or in part requires full attribution of the original publication, including its DOI. Paper 190396RR received Nov. 20, 2019; accepted for publication May 28, 2020; published online Jun. 11, 2020. The authors appreciate Prof. Anna Devor for thorough discussion of the manuscript and Prof. James Ballard for editing of the manuscript. This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health under Grant Nos. R01 CA186567 (NIH Director's Transformative Research Award), R01 NS102213, U01 NS090579 (BRAIN Initiative), and U01 NS099717 (BRAIN Initiative).

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