High-tech imaging focuses on oxygen metabolism in newborn brain

Our brains consume huge amounts of energy and rely on oxygen supplied by blood vessels. When the brains of infants are deprived of oxygen for any reason, it can lead to brain injury that causes cerebral palsy, epilepsy or cognitive impairment.

Headshot of professor Song Hu

Song Hu, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis’ McKelvey School of Engineering, is teaming up with Chia-Yi (Alex) Kuan, MD, PhD, at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. They will study abnormal oxygen metabolism in injured neonatal brains with a five-year $2.9 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Hu will use photoacoustic microscopy, an imaging method that is exceptionally effective at imaging blood and oxygen flow in the body, to measure the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen in a mouse model of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, which occurs in one to six of every 1,000 live births in the U.S.

Read more on the engineering website.