Fiberless, Multi-Channel fNIRS-EEG System

Fiberless, Multi-Channel fNIRS-EEG System Based on Silicon Photomultipliers: Towards Sensitive and Ecological Mapping of Brain Activity and Neurovascular Coupling.

Portable neuroimaging technologies can be employed for long-term monitoring of neurophysiological and neuropathological states. Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) and Electroencephalography (EEG) are highly suited for such a purpose. Their multimodal integration allows the evaluation of hemodynamic and electrical brain activity together with neurovascular coupling. An innovative fNIRS-EEG system is here presented. The system integrated a novel continuous-wave fNIRS component and a modified commercial EEG device. fNIRS probing relied on fiberless technology based on light emitting diodes and silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs). SiPMs are sensitive semiconductor detectors, whose large detection area maximizes photon harvesting from the scalp and overcomes limitations of fiberless technology. To optimize the signal-to-noise ratio and avoid fNIRS-EEG interference, a digital lock-in was implemented for fNIRS signal acquisition. A benchtop characterization of the fNIRS component showed its high performances with a noise equivalent power below 1 pW. Moreover, the fNIRS-EEG device was tested in vivo during tasks stimulating visual, motor and pre-frontal cortices. Finally, the capabilities to perform ecological recordings were assessed in clinical settings on one Alzheimer’s Disease patient during long-lasting cognitive tests. The system can pave the way to portable technologies for accurate evaluation of multimodal brain activity, allowing their extensive employment in ecological environments and clinical practice.

PMID: 32429372 [PubMed – in process]

Sensors (Basel). 2020 May 16;20(10):

Authors: Chiarelli AM, Perpetuini D, Croce P, Greco G, Mistretta L, Rizzo R, Vinciguerra V, Romeo MF, Zappasodi F, Merla A, Fallica PG, Edlinger G, Ortner R, Giaconia GC




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