A miniaturized platform for laser speckle contrast imaging

Janaka Senarathna, Kartikeya Murari, Ralph Etienne-Cummings, Nitish V. Thakor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Imaging the brain in animal models enables scientists to unravel new biological insights. Despite critical advancements in recent years, most laboratory imaging techniques comprise of bulky bench top apparatus that require the imaged animals to be anesthetized and immobilized. Thus, animals are imaged in their non-native state severely restricting the scope of behavioral experiments. To address this gap, we report a miniaturized microscope that can be mounted on a rat's head for imaging in awake and unrestrained conditions. The microscope uses laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI), a high resolution yet wide field imaging modality for imaging blood vessels and perfusion. Design details of both the image formation and acquisition modules are presented. A Monte Carlo simulation was used to estimate the depth of tissue penetration achievable by the imaging system while the produced speckle Airy disc patterns were simulated using Fresnel's diffraction theory. The microscope system weighs only 7 g and occupies less than 5 cm3 and was successfully used to generate proof of concept LSCI images of rat brain vasculature. We validated the utility of the head-mountable system in an awake rat brain model by confirming no impairment to the rat's native behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6336802
Pages (from-to)437-445
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2012


  • Functional imaging
  • laser speckle contrast imaging
  • miniaturization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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