Innovation. Relevance. Unknown. Unexpected.
These are the words that move us ahead. From the bench to the bedside, because we believe that the best way to make a difference is to understand the whole process.
Truly interdisciplinary research
We are a problem-driven research lab guided by new and open research problems that can solve interesting and relevant problems and impact healthcare and the way we understand the brain.
We believe that diffuse optics is the best approach we currently have to answer the most exciting questions ranging from social neuroscience to brain development. At the same time, it offers a unique solution to bedside monitoring in the clinic, which can lead to individualization of patient treatment.
In this process, we use mathematical tools and physical models to better understand our problems, and partner with research engineers to develop novel ways to probe the body, as well as health researchers to validate our solutions and guide our research actions and efforts.
Here is a small sample of research lines we have been working extensively nowadays:
Diffuse optics instrumentation for neuroscience and clinical care
Non invasive optical measurement of blood flow
Development of data analysis methods for fNIRS
Understanding and modeling the brain at rest
Modeling neurovascular coupling through a multimodal approach
Developed Tools and systems
Our research efforts have led to novel research equipments and algorithms that we attempt to make available to the community in applied research and companies interested in accelerating neuroscience and/or healthcare.
Neuronavigation software for fNIRS
VMTK-Neuro is a suite of visual manipulation tools for neuroimages developed by our collaborator Prof. Wu Shin-Ting at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The fNIRS neuronavigation tool is part of José Angel Iván Rubianes Silva's Ph.D. thesis. One can download a free Windows- version of VMTK-Neuro with the fNIRS extension. The neuronavigation function requires the Fastrak Polhemus digitizer. Please check the tutorial webpage (in Portuguese) to understand how to visualize the cortical surface, how to calibrate the digitizer with respect to a guiding MRI volume, and the tests performed to evaluate the number of pairs of points necessary for a precise calibration.
The metabolic monitor is a hybrid optical system combining diffuse optical spectroscopy (DOS) and diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) to measure simultaneous blood flow and oxygenation. By combining these two physiological parameters one can estimate relative changes in metabolic rate of oxygen (MRO2) to provide a noninvasive, all-optical measurement of metabolic and hemodynamic of tissue in vivo.
Our current version of the metabolic monitor employs a commercial frequency-domain (FD) DOS with 8 sources (each source has 4 wavelengths) and 4 detectors, and a homemade DCS module with 1 source and 16 detectors. The system is used for research purposes, only, and it is not yet approved for wide clinical use in Brazil.
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