Patent Number: 7,711,416

Title: Measurement of neural functionality using phase sensitive optical reflectometry

Abstract: Optical methods, devices, and systems for non-invasively detecting transient surface displacements in a neuron are disclosed. Methods, devices, and systems provided may employ a phase-sensitive optical low coherence reflectometer. In addition, surface displacements due to action potential propagation in neural tissues may be detected in some embodiments using back-reflected light. According to some embodiments, exogenous chemicals or reflection coatings are not required. Transient neural surface displacement of less than 1 nm in amplitude and 1 ms in duration may be detected and may be generally coincident with action potential arrival to the optical measurement site. The systems and methods may be used for noninvasive detection of various neuropathies such as retinal neuropathies. They may also be useful in detecting the effects of various pharmacological agents.

Inventors: Akkin; Taner (Dorchester, MA), Dave; Digant P. (Arlington, TX), Milner; Thomas E. (Austin, TX), Rylander, III; H. Grady (Round Rock, TX)

Assignee: Volcano Corporation

International Classification: A61B 5/00 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 5/04/12018