When people suffer a brain injury, currently the only way in which we can directly monitor the brain tissue in terms of pressure and oxygen delivery is by the insertion of probes into the skull and brain tissue itself. Not only is this obviously invasive but it confines detailed brain tissue monitoring to the intensive care unit.
Near Infra Red Light has fascinating properties in that it can pass through biological tissue and be used to identify hemoglobin, and how much oxygen is attached to the haemoglobin within tissues. This technology at the moment is used frequently to monitor the levels of oxygen in the blood via a finger probe giving an indication of lung function.
Although the technology is currently available to monitor brain oxygen levels using infra red light (or near infra red light) it has up until now not been considered sufficiently accurate to be used in traumatic brain injury. We are developing a refined and improved method of non-invasively monitoring the brain using these techniques. With your help we aim to develop a system that is sufficiently accurate that it can be used in brain trauma, in some cases replacing invasive probes, and hopefully this system can be used in many different areas of care outside of the intensive care unit. All of these will provide a real benefit to individuals who suffer brain injury in the future.