All About Chemistry... 2011 and beyond

Related Stories

New way to diagnose brain damage from concussions, strokes, and dementia

New optical diagnostic technology developed at Tufts University School of Engineering promises new ways to identify and monitor brain damage resulting from traumatic injury, stroke or vascular dementia -- in real time and without invasive procedures.

Coherent hemodynamics spectroscopy (CHS), developed and published by Tufts Professor of Biomedical Engineering Sergio Fantini, measures blood flow, blood volume, and oxygen consumption in the brain. It uses non-invasive near infrared (NIR) light technology to scan brain tissue, and then applies mathematical algorithms to interpret that information.

"CHS is based on measurements of brain hemodynamics that are interpreted according to unique algorithms that generate measures of cerebral blood flow, blood volume and oxygen consumption," says Fantini. "This technique can be used not only to assess brain diseases but also to study the blood flow and how it is regulated in the healthy brain."

Tufts has licensed CHS on a non-exclusive basis to ISS, a Champaign, Ill.-based company that specializes in technology to measure hemoglobin concentration and oxygenation in brain and muscle tissue.

"Potentially the market for CHS is large as it encompasses several applications from the monitoring of cerebrovascular disorders to assessing neurological disorders," says Beniamino Barbieri, president of ISS. "It reminds me of the introduction of ultrasound technology at beginning of the seventies; nobody back then knew how to utilize the new technology and of course, nowadays, its applications are ubiquitous in any medical center."

How It Works

CHS uses laser diodes which emit NIR light that is delivered to the scalp by fiber optics. Light waves are absorbed by the blood vessels in the brain. Remaining light is reflected back to sensors, resulting in optical signals that oscillate with time as a result of the heartbeat, respiration, or other sources of variations in the blood pressure.

By analyzing the light signals with algorithms developed for this purpose, Fantini's model is able to evaluate blood flow and the way the brain regulates it--which is one marker for brain health.

CHS technology has been tested among patients undergoing hemodialysis at Tufts Medical Center. Published research reported a lower cerebral blood flow in dialysis patients compared with healthy patients.

"Non-invasive ways to measure local changes in cerebral blood flow, particularly during periods of stress such as hemodialysis, surgeries, and in the setting of stroke, could have major implications for maintaining healthy brain function," says Daniel Weiner, M.D., a nephrologist at Tufts Medical Center (Tufts MC) and associate professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM), who is a member of the research team.

Josh Kornbluth, M.D., a neurologist at Tufts MC and associate professor of medicine at TUSM, is also working with Fantini to explore CHS's potential to assess the cerebrovascular state of patients who suffer traumatic brain injury or stroke. They hope to test CHS further among neurological critical care patients.

"Having data about local cerebral blood flow and whether it is properly regulated can allow us to more accurately develop individualized therapy and interventions instead of choosing a 'one size fits all' approach to traumatic brain injury, stroke, or subarachnoid hemorrhage," Kornbluth says.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Tufts University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Share this story with your friends!

Social Networking

Please recommend us on Facebook, Twitter and more:

Other social media tools

Global Partners

Tell us what you think of Chemistry 2011 -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?

About us

Chemistry2011 is an informational resource for students, educators and the self-taught in the field of chemistry. We offer resources such as course materials, chemistry department listings, activities, events, projects and more along with current news releases.

Events & Activities

Are you interested in listing an event or sharing an activity or idea? Perhaps you are coordinating an event and are in need of additional resources? Within our site you will find a variety of activities and projects your peers have previously submitted or which have been freely shared through creative commons licenses. Here are some highlights: Featured Idea 1, Featured Idea 2.

About you

Ready to get involved? The first step is to sign up by following the link: Join Here. Also don’t forget to fill out your profile including any professional designations.

Global Partners