Patient-friendly brain imager gets green light toward first prototype

Quantum sensor enables flexible, wearable design

Functional brain imaging systems have a wide range of applications from clinical to research focused on studying the brain dynamics. Invasive systems provide a large information volume compared to their non-invasive counterparts as the electrodes are in vicinity of firing neurons. However, they are mainly used for surgical preplanning for epileptic patients and are not a viable system for general research participants. In this work, we address the low information volume of non-invasive brain imaging systems by leveraging the benefits of quantum sensors, i.e., optically pumped magnetometers (OPMs). OPMs do not need cryogenic temperatures for operation and can conform to the subject’s scalp, hence, providing a spatiotemporal resolution rivaling that of invasive electrodes. We develop whole head coverage, functional brain imaging systems using the quantum sensors that we design, develop, and continuously improve in our laboratory.

Areas of Research

Developing non-invasive functional brain imaging systems using patented quantum sensors (OPM) developed at Sandia National Laboratories.

Featured Projects

Cross-Axis projection error in OPM and its implication for magnetoence- phalography systems

Sandia researchers detected and quantified a systematic error in OPM sensors and coined this error term “Cross Axis Projection Error (CAPE)”. This research, published in Neuroimage, drew attention to this effect worldwide

(Link opens in a new tab)Learn More
Use of vector spherical harmonics (VSH) for calibration of OPM sensors in brain imaging systems

A novel solution for brain imaging systems was devised by Sandia scientists though the calibration and localization of OPM sensors from the use of VSH

(Link opens in a new tab)Learn More
Detecting brain signals through a pioneering multichannel OPM-based magnetoencephalography system

Sandia developed one of the first pioneering non-invasive and multichannel OPM arrays for detecting brain signals with high fidelity

(Link opens in a new tab)Learn More
Vector measurements using a pulsed, optically pumped atomic magnetometer

Sandia researchers patented a special OPM which provides wider bandwidth and simultaneous measurement on all cartesian axes