UNDERSTANDING THE BRAIN THROUGH INNOVATIVE IMAGING TECHNOLOGIES
Rapidly apply insights gained from model organisms to human health
To better understand the normal brain, we are studying pathologies including stroke, psychiatric diseases, pain and epilepsy serving as models of brain circuit dysfunction. Our team seeks to accelerate the development of the breakthrough technologies to build versatile and costless tools to image brain activity and brain networks at both micro and macro-scales.
To address the challenges presented by neuroimaging, we develop a broad, interdisciplinary and translational science based on our own expertise and fruitfull collaborations with scientists, industries and citizens from all around the world.
These pages also aim at providing basic information on optogenetics, in vivo brain imaging and recording of electrical activity. Please use the top menu to navigate through the pages.
Our main research interests are summarized below:
Note that this website is under construction (some menu links are not yet available) and will be updated soon.
The device Dustrack'r on low-cost measurement of pollutants just received the Gold medal🏅at the 117th Coucours Lépi… https://t.co/WNyvl0Igq1
In 2018, the KU Leuven is again first in the Europe’s top 100 most innovative universities! Our team at the NERF (I… https://t.co/23SNh7FrOC
The project Dustrack’r for a better analysis of air pollutants in cities is selected for the Concours Lépine Intern… https://t.co/5BRwgIgX5p
Love science! Do science! Our team granted a price at the CGenial contest 2017. We were happy to welcome the winner… https://t.co/Hqx9YsRyeh
RT @__NERF: Alan Urban @opto_brain_imag in action at the #VIBseminar18 plenary session today! https://t.co/z8LLTIWBEg
Semaine du Cerveau 2018. Les nouvelles techniques pour comprendre et réparer le cerveau. Merci au Lycée Sainte Mari… https://t.co/Nq48lbfd4V
JCBFM - Functional UltraSound in a stroke model
Functional ultrasound imaging efficiently mapped the acute changes in relative cerebral blood volume during occlusion and following reperfusion with high spatial resolution (100 mm), notably documenting marked focal decreases during occlusion, and was able to chart the fine dynamics of tissue reperfusion in the individual rat.Read more →
Nature Methods - Functional UltraSound in freely moving rodents
Freely moving functional ultrasound (fm-fUS) imaging to image brain circuits in behaving rodents. fm-fUS can also efficiently decode brain activity in cortical and subcortical area during specific tasks.Read more →
NeuroImage - Functional UltraSound in chronic conditions
To overcome the limitation of the craniotomy, we developed a dedicated thinned skull surgery for chronic functional ultrasound imaging.Read more →
JMTM - Functional UltraSound in humans
Here we demonstrate how functional ultrasound can image brain capillaries in rodents and to visualize the cortical microvasculature in the human brain during neurosurgery.Read more →
Molecular Psychiatry - Interneurons Classification
In collaboration with the Allen Brain Institute, our study demonstrate that a specific class of parvalbumin expressing interneurons may be involved in brain plasticity.Read more →
A multidisciplinary team
Our team combines a set of unique expertise including neurobiology, brain imaging, physics/acoustics, computer-science, molecular biology, pharmacology and more for understanding brain function.
Open Source Technologies
We make all technologies freely available for the scientific community. As soon as results are published, we release all protocols, codes and hardware to allow everyone to use technologies from our lab.
Translational research helps turn early-stage innovations into new health products, advancing the innovation to the point where it becomes attractive for further development by the medical industry or healthcare agencies. See our last patents.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Our research is focused on research and development of innovative technologies to better understand neural circuits and brain physiology.
We are currently working on 2 breakthrough imaging modalities that have been designed to become a centerpiece in both preclinical and clinical studies as it can be used to diagnose metabolic diseases and lesions on a finer scale, for neurological and cognitive psychological research as well as brain-computer interfaces.
- Functional ultrasound imaging (fUSi) = Imaging of brain hemodynamic activity at mesoscopic scale in the entire depth of the brain
Structural images of brain vasculature and blood flow
Functional ultrasound (fUS) is a novel imaging modality able to measure cerebral blood volume (CBV), red blood cells velocity (RBC-V) and cerebral blood flow (CBF) that are key parameters to quantify hemodynamic variations observed during functional activation of the brain.
Brain activity in real-time during somatosensory stimuli
Alternate right/left forepaw/whiskers stimulations
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- Voltage Sensitive Dye imaging (VSDi) = Imaging of brain electrical activity locally at the surface of the brain
Optical imaging of neurons depolarizations at the ms time-scale
Cortical Spreading Depression
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Also known as potentiometric dyes, VSD are dyes which change their spectral properties in response to voltage changes. They are able to provide linear measurements of firing activity of single neurons, large neuronal populations or cardiomyocytes. Many others physiological processes are accompanied by changes in cell membrane potential which can be detected with VSD. Measurements may indicate the site of action potential origin, and measurements of action potential velocity and direction may be obtained.