Research Papers

Fast optical signals in the peripheral nervous system

[+] Author Affiliations
Yunjie Tong, Jeffrey M. Martin, Angelo Sassaroli

Tufts University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Medford, Massachusetts 02155

Patricia R. Clervil

Tufts New England Medical Center, Department of Neurology, Boston, Massachusetts 02116

Peter R. Bergethon

Boston University School of Medicine, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston, Massachusetts 02111

Sergio Fantini

Tufts University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Medford, Massachusetts 02155

J. Biomed. Opt. 11(4), 044014 (July 26, 2006). doi:10.1117/1.2234319
History: Received March 17, 2006; Revised June 21, 2006; Accepted June 22, 2006; Published July 26, 2006; Online July 26, 2006
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We present a study of the near-infrared optical response to electrical stimulation of peripheral nerves. The sural nerve of six healthy subjects between the ages of 22 and 41 was stimulated with transcutaneous electrical pulses in a region located approximately 10cm above the ankle. A two-wavelength (690 and 830nm) tissue spectrometer was used to probe the same sural nerve below the ankle. We measured optical changes that peaked 60 to 160ms after the electrical stimulus. On the basis of the strong wavelength dependence of these fast optical signals, we argue that their origin is mostly from absorption rather than scattering. From these absorption changes, we obtain oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin concentration changes that describe a rapid hemodynamic response to electrical nerve activation. In five out of six subjects, this hemodynamic response is an increase in total (oxy+deoxy) hemoglobin concentration, consistent with a fast vasodilation. Our findings support the hypothesis that the peripheral nervous system undergoes neurovascular coupling, even though more data is needed to prove such hypothesis.

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© 2006 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Yunjie Tong ; Jeffrey M. Martin ; Angelo Sassaroli ; Patricia R. Clervil ; Peter R. Bergethon, et al.
"Fast optical signals in the peripheral nervous system", J. Biomed. Opt. 11(4), 044014 (July 26, 2006). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.2234319


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