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Electrical Engineering Seminar Series

Tuesday, March 28, 2023
3:00pm to 4:00pm
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Moore B270
Using Speckle Dynamics to Measure Blood Flow and Tissue Dynamics
David Boas, Director of Neurophotonics Center, Biomedical Engineering & Electrical and Computer Engineerings, Boston University,
  • Public Event


Speckles are common in measurements made with lasers and ultrasound. They arise from the coherent interference of the light / sound waves and are often considered a nuisance because they introduce spatial intensity variations that obscure image features. However, temporal fluctuations in speckle intensity do carry useful information about dynamics within the sample being measured. We have developed and applied a variety of methods exploiting speckle dynamics to study cerebral physiology. I will talk about the synergy of our work with diffuse correlation spectroscopy, laser speckle contrast imaging, optical coherence tomography, and functional ultrasound to study properties of cerebral blood flow and tissue dynamics.


David Boas, Ph.D. is Director of the Neurophotonics Center and the Arthur G.B. Metcalf Endowed Chair and Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. He received his BS in Physics at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute and PhD in Physics at the University of Pennsylvania. During his academic career, he has supervised more than 50 students and post-doctoral fellows, and he has published over 300 papers that have received over 49,000 citations and an h-index of 118. He is the founding President of the Society for Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy and founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Neurophotonics published by SPIE. Dr. Boas was awarded the Britton Chance Award in Biomedical Optics in 2016 for his development of several novel, high-impact biomedical optical technologies in the neurosciences, as well as following through with impactful application studies, and fostering the widespread adoption of these technologies. He was elected a Fellow of AIMBE, SPIE, and OSA in 2017.

As Director of the Neurophotonics Center, he facilitates the development and application of novel optical methods to address a broad range of neuroscience questions from basic science to clinical translation. His own research efforts focus on neurovascular coupling, cerebral oxygen delivery and consumption, functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), and physiological modeling. Studies are done in rodents and humans, invasively and non-invasively, microscopically and macroscopically, providing a powerful ability to translate findings from animals to humans, and conversely to address in animals questions raised during human studies. One example of this that will tie together many of Dr. Boas' activities is studying functional brain recovery in survivors of stroke. Human neuroimaging by fMRI and fNIRS measures hemodynamic functional recovery but it is not known if neuro-vascular coupling differs in these patients compared to healthy subjects. Animal studies will answer this question enabling more quantitative interpretation of the human neuroimaging studies.

This talk is part of the Electrical Engineering Seminar Series, sponsored by the Division of Engineering and Applied Science.

For more information, please contact Anne Sullivan by phone at 626-395-4506 or by email at [email protected].