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Cephalogics awarded US patent for high-density diffuse OCT system

18 Jan 2017

Company has been developing non-invasive, portable system to improve clinicians’ understanding of brain blood-flow.

US brain-imaging company Cephalogics, based in Boston, MA, has been granted a patent that recognizes and protects its technology, which substantially eliminates obscuring effects of biological tissues that surround the brain.

The company, which was established in 2007 at Washington University, St Louis, Mi, has been developing a non-invasive, portable system to improve clinicians’ understanding of brain blood-flow (“perfusion”). Its bespoke hardware-and-software system provides critical information for detecting and treating perfusion deficits and avoiding ischemia in brain-injured patients.

“The Cephalogics IP constitutes an important advance in the capability to eliminate extra-cerebral effects using a light-based device, and provides reliable, non-invasive, bedside, brain-specific measurement and imaging,” said Russ Herrig, VP Engineering at the company.

“Our goal now is to partner with the medical community to help make timely and efficacious endovascular treatments possible for the hundreds of thousands of patients who are delayed and unable to receive such treatment.”

The Cephalogics HD-DOT (High-Density Diffuse Optical Tomography) system – now covered by US Patent 9,498,134 B1 – collects data to measure tissue oxygenation in the brain and produce images of hemoglobin concentrations over large regions, which provide valuable information about a patient’s brain perfusion status. Core applications include analysis of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke with the intention to identify “perfusion deficits” and drive patients to appropriate therapeutic interventions more rapidly.

Once deployed, the compact system is expected to enable rapid assessments and continuous monitoring of large cerebrovascular regions to help clinicians identify perfusion deficits in order to trigger interventions in patients at risk for ischemia. Currently, less than 10% of ischemic stroke patients receive efficacious endovascular treatment, the company says.


Major reasons for this lack of treatment are delays in initial diagnosis and delays in transport to comprehensive stroke centers that are properly equipped to treat such patients. By enabling faster and earlier identification of perfusion deficits, Cephalogics is aiming to reduce these delays and increase the number of patients eligible for endovascular treatment.

The new patent supports Cephalogics’ efforts to provide clinicians with a non-invasive method for monitoring the perfusion status of brain-injured patients and the impact of interventions. The company comments that existing commercial light-based devices currently used for non-invasive brain monitoring are typically confounded by changes in extra-cerebral tissue such as skin, scalp, skull, and cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain, which limits their clinical utility.

Cephalogics' technology substantially eliminates the obscuring extra-cerebral tissue effects. The patent protects novel processing techniques developed to improve brain specificity and create high-quality images of cerebral tissue hemoglobin oxygenation.

Noise reduction

The company adds that the combination of its patented technical innovation with Cephalogics’ high-density, multi-wavelength, multi-distance near infrared measurements differentiates its HD-DOT technology from other commercially available systems. The patent covers approaches to reduce noise, improving the system’s ability to measure the brain while conforming to different head geometries. These innovative approaches produce high-quality imaging while improving brain specificity of cerebral perfusion measurements.

"This patent further protects our novel technology that will help clinicians quickly identify cerebral perfusion deficits and reduce delays to treatment,” said Jeff Caputo, General Manager of Cephalogics. “Our goal is to partner with the medical community to help make timely and efficacious endovascular treatment possible for the hundreds of thousands of patients who are delayed and unable to receive this treatment today.”

Technical performance

In mid-2016, the company published a paper at the Human Brain Mapping conference in Geneva, Switzerland, detailing the technical capabilities of its technology. Key capabilities and results included:

  • Cephalogics‘ compact, non-fiber-optic based High-Density Diffuse Optical Tomography (HD-DOT) system is capable of producing results consistent with PET and fMRI.
  • Our study demonstrates the ability of the Cephalogics HD-DOT system to map small visual cortex responses to visual stimuli. These results demonstrate the system's high spatial resolution and sensitivity to changes in brain perfusion that are significantly smaller than the changes expected in brain-injured patients.
  • The compact design of the Cephalogics system enables DOT use in clinical settings. By delivering continuous perfusion imaging to the bedside, the system will help clinicians identify perfusion deficits and enable early interventions to avoid ischemia and its associated adverse outcomes.

Berkeley Nucleonics CorporationHyperion OpticsCHROMA TECHNOLOGY CORP.Mad City Labs, Inc.TRIOPTICS GmbHCeNing Optics Co LtdLASEROPTIK GmbH
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