High optode-density wearable diffuse optical probe for monitoring paced breathing hemodynamics in breast tissue
Significance: Diffuse optical imaging (DOI) provides in vivo quantification of tissue chromophores such as oxy- and deoxyhemoglobin (HbO2 and HHb, respectively). These parameters have been shown to be useful for predicting neoadjuvant treatment response in breast cancer patients. However, most DOI devices designed for the breast are nonportable, making frequent longitudinal monitoring during treatment a challenge. Furthermore, hemodynamics related to the respiratory cycle are currently unexplored in the breast and may have prognostic value. Aim: To design, fabricate, and validate a high optode-density wearable continuous wave diffuse optical probe for the monitoring of breathing hemodynamics in breast tissue. Approach: The probe has a rigid-flex design with 16 dual-wavelength sources and 16 detectors. Performance was characterized on tissue-simulating phantoms, and validation was performed through flow phantom and cuff occlusion measurements. The breasts of N  =  4 healthy volunteers were measured while performing a breathing protocol. Results: The probe has 512 unique source-detector (S-D) pairs that span S-D separations of 10 to 54 mm. It exhibited good performance characteristics: ma drift of 0.34%/h, ma precision of 0.063%, and mean SNR  >  24  dB up to 41 mm S-D separation. Absorption contrast was detected in flow phantoms at depths exceeding 28 mm. A cuff occlusion measurement confirmed the ability of the probe to track expected hemodynamics in vivo. Breast measurements on healthy volunteers during paced breathing revealed median signal-to-motion artifact ratios ranging from 8.1 to 8.7 dB. Median DHbO2 and DHHb amplitudes ranged from 0.39 to 0.67  mM and 0.08 to 0.12  mM, respectively. Median oxygen saturations at the respiratory rate ranged from 82% to 87%. Conclusions: A wearable diffuse optical probe has been designed and fabricated for the measurement of breast tissue hemodynamics. This device is capable of quantifying breathing-related hemodynamics in healthy breast tissue.