A hyperspectral imaging system for mapping haemoglobin and cytochrome-c-oxidase concentration changes in the exposed cerebral cortex

IEEE J Sel Top Quantum Electron. 2021 Jan 22;27(4):7400411. doi: 10.1109/JSTQE.2021.3053634. eCollection 2021 Jul-Aug.


We present a novel hyperspectral imaging (HSI) system using visible and near-infrared (NIR) light on the exposed cerebral cortex of animals, to monitor and quantify in vivo changes in the oxygenation of haemoglobin and in cellular metabolism via measurement of the redox states of cytochrome-c-oxidase (CCO). The system, named hNIR, is based on spectral scanning illumination at 11 bands (600, 630, 665, 784, 800, 818, 835, 851, 868, 881 and 894 nm), using a supercontinuum laser coupled with a rotating Pellin-Broca prism. Image reconstruction is performed with the aid of a Monte Carlo framework for photon pathlength estimation and post-processing correction of partial volume effects. The system is validated on liquid optical phantoms mimicking brain tissue haemodynamics and metabolism, and finally applied in vivo on the exposed cortex of mice undergoing alternating oxygenation challenges. The results of the study demonstrate the capacity of hNIR to map and quantify the haemodynamic and metabolic states of the exposed cortex at microvascular levels. This represents (to the best of our knowledge) the first example of simultaneous mapping and quantification of cerebral haemoglobin and CCO in vivo using visible and NIR HSI, which can potentially become a powerful tool for better understanding brain physiology.

Keywords: Hyperspectral imaging; brain metabolism; brain oxygenation; cytochrome-c-oxidase; near-infrared spectroscopy; wide-field optical imaging.