Cerebral Blood Flow Imaging Technique Can be Applied to Disease Diagnosis

By  Marianna Catege

Stony Brook, NY; Stony Brook University: Yingtian Pan, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering and colleagues Jiang You and Kicheon Park use neuroimaging techniques to show how cocaine shuts down blood flow in the brain.

Dr. Yingtian Pan, Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Stony Brook, and his team, have discovered a new imaging technique that allows for a clearer picture of the direction, speed, and quantity of cerebral blood flow. This discovery expands upon and provides an ultrahigh-resolution picture for Stony Brook Medical scientists’ newly developed method for measuring how cocaine interrupts blood flow in mice brains.

As described in the Optical Society’s open-access journal, Biomedical Optics Express, this new technique, called “ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence Doppler tomography,” utilizes a TI:Sapphire laser to target the cortex of the mouse brain. The reflected light is then subsequently analyzed.

This new technique clears up some of the flaws that other imaging methods have. Some techniques miss critical parts of the blood flow disruption, while others are not powerful enough to detect the disruption of blood flow early on, when it is on a small scale. According to Dr. Pan, this new imaging technique allows scientists to “visualize, in animal models, the micro and regional ischemic effects to the cerebral microvascular networks” (2).

This method also leads the way for new information that can help in disease prognosis, diagnosis, and the monitoring of the progress or failure of treatments. It can also be applied to drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and wound repair. Additionally, it can be particularly helpful in displaying an accurate picture of the blood flow rate and quantity of tumor cells, greatly accelerating cancer research.


  1. Pan, Y. et al. 2014. Optical coherence Doppler tomographic for quantitative cerebral blood flow imaging. Biomed. Opt. Express. 5:9.