Advanced Photonics for Brain Imaging with High Spatiotemporal Resolution


We have developed a new type of noninvasive mobile neurotechnology that enables extremely sensitive, accurate, and high-resolution brain imaging.

Market Opportunity

Brain imaging has long been restricted to clinical and other specialized centers, mainly because of the large, complex, and expensive equipment required. Yet, to truly understand human brain function requires more than brief brain-imaging sessions in immobile subjects. A low-cost, long-duration, mobile brain-imaging technology would not only benefit neuroscience research, but have multiple clinical applications, including brain monitoring following stroke or neurosurgery; longitudinal monitoring of Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and other chronic conditions; assessment of head injury; and symptom capture of unpredictable events (e.g., syncope, seizures, sleep apnea).

Innovation and Meaningful Advantages

Our novel brain-imaging technology fits into a portable microsystem that is worn immediately adjacent to the skull. Its cutting–edge photonics technologies are similar to multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) techniques used in mobile communication, microwave, and optical-imaging distance sensors. Our MIMO system combines advanced photonics approaches with our wearable brain-imaging platforms. This dramatically increases spatial resolution, brain-tissue sensitivity, and quantitation of molecules imaged, compared with state-of-the-art near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) devices. The mobility of our device enables measurements in a variety of settings, including physician’s offices, at home, and during daily activities. Our investigations have contributed to advancing frontiers of photonics technologies, as well as to the development of more traditional NIRS instrumentation (e.g., for spaceflight) and of new neurotechnologies in general.

Collaboration Opportunity

We are interested in exploring 1) startup opportunities with investors in the medical imaging space; 2) research collaborations with leading medical imaging companies to develop this technology; and 3) licensing opportunities with medical imaging companies.

Principal Investigator

Arto V. Nurmikko, PhD

L. Herbert Ballou University Professor of Engineering

Professor of Physics

Brown University


IP Information

US Utility US20200253479A1, Published August 13, 2020



Melissa Simon

Director of Business Development, Life Sciences

Brown Tech ID 2601

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Brown Technology Innovations
350 Eddy Street - Box 1949
Providence, RI 02903
Arto Nurmikko
© 2024. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Inteum