High-Speed Time-Domain Diffuse Optical Tomography With a Sensitivity Equation-Based Neural Network

Fay Wang, Stephen H. Kim, Yongyi Zhao, Ankit Raghuram, Ashok Veeraraghavan, Jacob Robinson, Andreas H. Hielscher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Steady progress in time-domain diffuse optical tomography (TD-DOT) technology is allowing for the first time the design of low-cost, compact, and high-performance systems, thus promising more widespread clinical TD-DOT use, such as for recording brain tissue hemodynamics. TD-DOT is known to provide more accurate values of optical properties and physiological parameters compared to its frequency-domain or steady-state counterparts. However, achieving high temporal resolution is still difficult, as solving the inverse problem is computationally demanding, leading to relatively long reconstruction times. The runtime is further compromised by processes that involve 'nontrivial' empirical tuning of reconstruction parameters, which increases complexity and inefficiency. To address these challenges, we present a new reconstruction algorithm that combines a deep-learning approach with our previously introduced sensitivity-equation-based, non-iterative sparse optical reconstruction (SENSOR) code. The new algorithm (called SENSOR-NET) unfolds the iterations of SENSOR into a deep neural network. In this way, we achieve high-resolution sparse reconstruction using only learned parameters, thus eliminating the need to tune parameters prior to reconstruction empirically. Furthermore, once trained, the reconstruction time is not dependent on the number of sources or wavelengths used. We validate our method with numerical and experimental data and show that accurate reconstructions with 1 mm spatial resolution can be obtained in under 20 milliseconds regardless of the number of sources used in the setup. This opens the door for real-time brain monitoring and other high-speed DOT applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-474
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computational Imaging
StatePublished - 2023


  • Deep learning
  • diffuse optics
  • image reconstruction
  • inverse problem
  • sensitivity equation
  • sparse image reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'High-Speed Time-Domain Diffuse Optical Tomography With a Sensitivity Equation-Based Neural Network'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this