Research Papers: Imaging

Monte Carlo simulation of the spatial resolution and depth sensitivity of two-dimensional optical imaging of the brain

[+] Author Affiliations
Peifang Tian

University of California, San Diego, Department of Neurosciences, La Jolla, California 92093

John Carroll University, Department of Physics, University Heights, Ohio 44118

Anna Devor

University of California, San Diego, Department of Neurosciences, La Jolla, California 92093

University of California, San Diego, Department of Radiology, La Jolla, California 92093

Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129

Sava Sakadžić, David A. Boas

Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129

Anders M. Dale

University of California, San Diego, Department of Neurosciences, La Jolla, California 92093

University of California, San Diego, Department of Radiology, La Jolla, California 92093

J. Biomed. Opt. 16(1), 016006 (January 24, 2011). doi:10.1117/1.3533263
History: Received September 17, 2010; Revised October 30, 2010; Accepted November 16, 2010; Published January 24, 2011; Online January 24, 2011
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Absorption or fluorescence-based two-dimensional (2-D) optical imaging is widely employed in functional brain imaging. The image is a weighted sum of the real signal from the tissue at different depths. This weighting function is defined as “depth sensitivity.” Characterizing depth sensitivity and spatial resolution is important to better interpret the functional imaging data. However, due to light scattering and absorption in biological tissues, our knowledge of these is incomplete. We use Monte Carlo simulations to carry out a systematic study of spatial resolution and depth sensitivity for 2-D optical imaging methods with configurations typically encountered in functional brain imaging. We found the following: (i) the spatial resolution is <200 μm for NA ≤0.2 or focal plane depth ≤300 μm. (ii) More than 97% of the signal comes from the top 500 μm of the tissue. (iii) For activated columns with lateral size larger than spatial resolution, changing numerical aperature (NA) and focal plane depth does not affect depth sensitivity. (iv) For either smaller columns or large columns covered by surface vessels, increasing NA and/or focal plane depth may improve depth sensitivity at deeper layers. Our results provide valuable guidance for the optimization of optical imaging systems and data interpretation.

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© 2011 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)

Citation

Peifang Tian ; Anna Devor ; Sava Sakadžić ; Anders M. Dale and David A. Boas
"Monte Carlo simulation of the spatial resolution and depth sensitivity of two-dimensional optical imaging of the brain", J. Biomed. Opt. 16(1), 016006 (January 24, 2011). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.3533263


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