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Opt Lett. 2003 Jul 15;28(14):1218-20.

Functional optical coherence tomography for detecting neural activity through scattering changes.

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  • 1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.


We have demonstrated functional optical coherence tomography (fOCT) for neural imaging by detecting scattering changes during the propagation of action potentials through neural tissue. OCT images of nerve fibers from the abdominal ganglion of the sea slug Aplysia californica were taken before, during, and after electrical stimulation. Images acquired during stimulation showed localized reversible increases in scattering compared with those acquired before stimulation. Motion-mode OCT images of nerve fibers showed transient scattering changes from spontaneous action potentials. These results demonstrate that OCT is sensitive to the optical changes in electrically active nerve fibers.

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