Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) technologies have been used extensively in medical research, targeting various biological phenomena and multiple tissue types. Their high spectral resolution over a wide range of wavelengths enables acquisition of spatial information corresponding to different light-interacting biological compounds. This review focuses on the application of HSI to monitor brain tissue metabolism and hemodynamics in life sciences. Different approaches involving HSI have been investigated to assess and quantify cerebral activity, mainly focusing on: (1) mapping tissue oxygen delivery through measurement of changes in oxygenated (HbO2) and deoxygenated (HHb) hemoglobin; and (2) the assessment of the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) to estimate oxygen consumption by brain tissue. Finally, we introduce future perspectives of HSI of brain metabolism, including its potential use for imaging optical signals from molecules directly involved in cellular energy production. HSI solutions can provide remarkable insight in understanding cerebral tissue metabolism and oxygenation, aiding investigation on brain tissue physiological processes.
Keywords: biomedical optics; brain hemodynamics; brain metabolism; hyperspectral imaging.