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NIRS at BioMag

Near infrared optical spectroscopy (NIRS) is an emerging medical imaging modality that uses near-infrared light. Near-infrared radiation is non-ionizing and thus harmless to the patient, the measurement instruments are light-weight and their cost is relatively low. The measurements are sensitive to blood flow and blood oxygenation level. These properties make near-infrared imaging an attractive modality for both neuroscientific and diagnostic applications.

A general-purpose multichannel optical imaging system developed at the Laboratory of Biomedical Engineering of Helsinki University of Technology is based in the BioMag laboratory. Measurements of brain activation if both adults and infants are being carried out at the laboratory. We also use NIRS to study the hemodynamic effects of TMS, and combine NIRS with EEG recording in order to gain simultaneous data of electrical and hemodynamic response to brain activation.

BioMag is actively involved in mathematical modelling of optical imaging. The goal of modelling research is to improve the accuracy and reliability of interpretation of our optical measurement results. The methods used include Monte Carlo (MC) methodology and the finite element method (FEM).

For information about NIRS in BioMag, please contact Juha Heiskala (juha.heiskala at

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