Pioneer – time-resolved NIROT

New generation time resolved near-infrared optical tomography setup (TR NIROT), which is based on a time-of-flight 32x32 SPAD camera with high photon detection probability in the NIR range.

Pioneer is the new time-resolved near-infrared optical tomography (TR NIROT) system, which was designed in BORL. It aims at brain imaging of preterm neonates with high spatial resolution and at detecting hypoxia and bleeding.

Pioneer is based on a camera with a high number (1024) of pixels capable of detecting the time-of-flight of single photons – Piccolo. The pixels comprise a single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) with 116ps time response and an unprecedented sensitivity, i.e. a photon detection probability, of 12% at 800nm. This camera chip was especially designed for NIROT applications by BORL and AQUA (Advanced Quantum Architecture laboratory, School of Engineering, EPFL Lausanne). Pioneer employs a super continuum laser to generate a narrow-band light at multiple wavelengths. The light is guided to 11 source fibers, which are hosted in a rigid source ring. It embedded in soft, biocompatible silicon to provide a gentle contact to neonatal head. We implement the wavelength normalization to correct for coupling and surface artifacts. The total number of available source-detector pairs is greater than 11’000.

Related projects

  • Piccolo
  • Real time NIROT reconstructions


Alexander Kalyanov, Ph.D.

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Klinik für Neonatologie