4D Transcranial Acoustoelectric Imaging of Current Densities in a Human Head Phantom

Andres Barragan, Chet Preston, Alexander Alvarez, Charles P. Ingram, Tushar Kanti Bera, Russell S. Witte

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


A broad spectrum of brain disorders - from epilepsy to depression - are characterized by abnormal electrical conduction. Often, electroencephalography (EEG) is incapable of recording the complex dynamics behind these disorders due to poor spatial resolution. We are proposing transcranial acoustoelectric brain imaging (tABI) to overcome these limitations. tABI may be able to accurately resolve deep neuronal currents with high spatial resolution (< 3 mm). This specific study aimed to determine the sensitivity and resolution of an electrically active human brain phantom when transmitting ultrasound through a human cadaveric skull and recording electrical activity on the skull. 4D tABI accurately mapped deep, time-varying dipoles > 50 mm below the phantom surface with an axial resolution of ~3mm at 0.6 MHz. Current detection limits through the skull at biologically safe US intensities were <500μA - within range of the strongest induced neuronal currents in the human brain. Noninvasive detection of weak neural currents (<0.1mA/cm2) like those simulated with the phantom in this study would open the possibility to 4D tABI as a revolutionary modality for accurate, high resolution mapping of electrical signals in the human brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2019
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9781728145969
StatePublished - Oct 2019
Event2019 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2019 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: Oct 6 2019Oct 9 2019

Publication series

NameIEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS
ISSN (Print)1948-5719
ISSN (Electronic)1948-5727


Conference2019 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • EEG
  • acoustoelectric
  • electrical brain mapping
  • epilepsy
  • fMRI
  • human brain imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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