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We built a fiber-less prototype of an optical system with 156 channels each one consisting of an optode made of a silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) and a pair of light emitting diodes (LEDs) operating at 700 nm and 830 nm. The system uses functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and diffuse optical tomography (DOT) imaging of the cortical activity of the human brain at frequencies above 1 Hz. In this paper, we discuss testing and system optimization performed through measurements on a multi-layered optical phantom with mechanically movable parts that simulate near-infrared light scattering inhomogeneities. The baseline optical characteristics of the phantom are carefully characterized and compared to those of human tissues. Here we discuss several technical aspects of the system development, such as LED light output drift and its possible compensation, SiPM linearity, corrections of channel signal differences, and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). We implement an imaging algorithm that investigates large phantom regions. Thanks to the use of SiPMs, very large source-to-detector distances are acquired with a high SNR and 2 Hz time resolution. The overall results demonstrate the high potentialities of a system based on SiPMs for fNIRS/DOT human brain imaging applications. View Full-Text
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Publication date: 
1 Jan 2020

Giovanni Maira, Antonio M Chiarelli, Stefano Brafa, Sebania Libertino, Giorgio Fallica, Arcangelo Merla, Salvatore Lombardo

Biblio References: 
Volume: 10 Issue: 3 Pages: 1068
Applied Sciences