Creative Biolabs

Advances in Preclinical Neuroimaging: Functional Ultrasound Imaging

In the field of neuroscience research, the exploration of the brain continues to drive innovations in imaging technology. Among these advances, functional ultrasound imaging has emerged as a powerful tool for preclinical neuroimaging. Creative Biolabs delves into the field of functional ultrasound imaging, exploring its transformative potential for understanding brain function and pathology at the preclinical level.

We have extensive experience in neuroimaging. As a partner, we offer the following related services to help clients characterize animal models of neurodegenerative diseases.

Our Services Descriptions
Calcium Imaging Assay With calcium imaging technology, you can either study an individual cell or a neuronal network you are interested in. Thanks to our excellent R&D team, Creative Biolabs provides high-resolution, mid-throughput calcium imaging assays with high-quality and reliable data for our global clients.
Synaptic Imaging Assay Creative Biolabs offers a synaptic imaging assay for evaluating the effect of different treatments on synapse formation and identification. We designed a platform for imaging and analysis of synaptic structures with cutting-edge technology and expertise for quantification and characterization.
Brain Imaging Platform Creative Biolabs has developed the high-speed fluorescence microscopy imaging system which is primarily designed to achieve high-precision and fast fluorescence imaging analysis of internal structures in biological tissues and clinical medical samples such as the brain, embryos, and pathological slices. It can be used for multi-channel imaging of different-sized samples, including mouse brains, macaque brains, and various tissue organs.
Neurological Imaging We have the expertise and capabilities to provide high-quality solutions for your neuroimaging research. It can potentially be used to identify biomarkers of disease, prognosis, or treatment, elucidate biological pathways, and help redefine diagnostic boundaries and inform and monitor new therapies.
Incucyte® SX5 Live-Cell Imaging Platform Creative Biolabs is proud to introduce the Incucyte® SX5 Live-Cell Imaging Platform, a cutting-edge solution for live cell analysis. This cutting-edge platform revolutionizes live-cell analysis by enabling researchers to monitor and analyze cellular processes in a non-invasive, label-free manner, while maintaining optimal cell health and physiological conditions.

Introduction to Functional Ultrasound Imaging (fUS)

fUS is a non-invasive neuroimaging technique that leverages ultrasound waves to visualize brain activity in real-time. At its core, fUS relies on the principles of ultrasound imaging, where high-frequency sound waves are transmitted into the tissue and the echoes are captured to construct detailed images. By detecting changes in blood flow associated with neuronal activity, fUS allows for the mapping of brain function with remarkable spatial resolution, down to the level of individual blood vessels and microcirculation networks.

Applied to the imaging of cerebral blood volume variations during whisker stimulation in a rat model, ultrafast Doppler was shown to detect the subtle blood flow increase induced by the neurovascular coupling. (Deffieux, Thomas, Charlie Demené, and Mickael Tanter, 2021)Fig. 1 Applied to the imaging of cerebral blood volume variations during whisker stimulation in a rat model, ultrafast Doppler was shown to detect the subtle blood flow increase induced by the neurovascular coupling.1

Unlike traditional methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) or positron emission tomography (PET), fUS cores high on all counts by offering real-time imaging, high spatial and temporal resolution, and being a less expensive and non-invasive procedure.

  • High Spatiotemporal Resolution: With the ability to neuronal activity assay at the scale of microns and milliseconds, fUS is ideal for imaging fast hemodynamic responses associated with neuronal activity, thus providing a detailed map of brain function.
  • High Imaging Depth: The high imaging depth of fUS allows for 3D imaging of the whole human brain, hence overcoming the depth limitation inherent in the use of optical imaging techniques.
  • Non-Invasive Nature: Unlike invasive techniques such as neurological electrophysiology, which require surgical procedures and can disrupt normal brain function and require radioactive tracers or contrast agents, fUS is non-invasive, making it ideal for longitudinal studies and investigations in awake, behaving animals.
  • Dynamic Imaging Capabilities: By capturing real-time changes in blood flow, fUS enables dynamic imaging of brain activity, offering insights into the temporal dynamics of neuronal circuits and functional connectivity patterns.

In traditional methods, neuronal tracers provide incomparable research tools for neuroscience. Creative Biolabs has engaged in neuroscience research for many years and accumulated rich experience in neural tracking. We are proud of offering a wide range of neuronal tracer products including but not limited to:

Cat. No Product Name Tracer Type Research Areas
NRZP-0822-ZP243 Tracer-AAV-pCaMkIIa-EBFP-TA(n)-WPRE-HGH polyA Virus Vector/Particals Neural Circuit Mapping
NRZP-0822-ZP244 Tracer-AAV-pCaMKIIa-tTA(C)-WPRE-HGH polyA Virus Vector/Particals Neural Circuit Mapping
NRZP-0822-ZP245 Tracer-AAV-pEF1a-DIO-EBFP-ITA(n)-WPRE-HGH polyA Virus Vector/Particals Neural Circuit Mapping
NRZP-0822-ZP246 Tracer-AAV-pEF1a-DIO-ITA(C)-WPRE-hGH polyA Virus Vector/Particals Neural Circuit Mapping
NRZP-0822-ZP247 Tracer-AAV-pEF1a-EBFP-TA(n)-WPRE-HGH polyA Virus Vector/Particals Neural Circuit Mapping
NRZP-0822-ZP249 AAV-pEF1a-FRT-EBFP-UTAN -WPRE-hGH polyA Virus Vector/Particals Neural Circuit Mapping
NRZP-0822-ZP248 AAV-pEF1a-TA(C)-WPRE-hGH polyA Virus Vector/Particals Neural Circuit Mapping
NRZP-0822-ZP212 BrainBow™ rAAV-EF1a-BbChT-WPRE-hGH polyA Fluorescent labeling Neural Circuit Mapping
NRZP-0822-ZP211 BrainBow™ rAAV-EF1a-BbTagBY-WPRE-hGH polyA Fluorescent labeling Neural Circuit Mapping
NRZP-0822-ZP203 Gq Signaling Sensor cOpn5 Virus Vector/Particals Neural Circuit Mapping
NRZP-0822-ZP207 Inhibitory Synapse Sensor Sylite Virus Vector/Particals Neural Circuit Mapping
NRZP-0822-ZP206 Micoglia In Vitro Tracer AAV-cMG AAV Capsid Neural Circuit Mapping
NRZP-0822-ZP204 Micoglia In Vivo Tracer AAV-MG1.1 AAV Capsid Neural Circuit Mapping
NRZP-0822-ZP205 Micoglia In Vivo Tracer AAV-MG1.2 AAV Capsid Neural Circuit Mapping
NRZP-0822-ZP213 Optogenetics REDMAP Sensor Virus Vector/Particals Neural Circuit Mapping
NRZP-0822-ZP208 Voltage Sensor VARNAM Virus Vector/Particals Neural Circuit Mapping

Applications of Functional Ultrasound Imaging in Preclinical Neuroscience

Studies are increasingly leveraging fUS imaging to unfurl mysteries shrouding different aspects of brain functioning and related disorders. A few salient applications are:

Applications Descriptions
Mapping Brain Networks The ability to extract functional connectivity maps using fUS provides an invaluable tool for understanding the intricate neural circuitry and exploring the modifications caused by genetic and environmental factors.
Mapping Cortical Activity fUS has been instrumental in mapping cortical activity in response to sensory stimuli, motor tasks, and cognitive processes. By visualizing changes in blood flow across different brain regions, researchers can elucidate the neural circuits underlying various behaviors and cognitive functions.
Characterizing Cerebrovascular Dynamics fUS imaging is an exceptional tool in examining cerebral blood volume dynamics and assessing microvasculature and hemodynamic changes in brain disorders.
Studying Neurovascular Coupling fUS allows researchers to investigate neurovascular coupling mechanisms with high precision, shedding light on conditions such as stroke, epilepsy, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Assessing Brain Development and Plasticity fUS offers insights into brain maturation processes and plasticity mechanisms. By tracking changes in cerebral blood flow during critical periods of development, researchers can uncover the factors influencing brain wiring and functional organization.
Neurodegenerative Disease Modeling and Drug Discovery Its unmatched resolution and depth have found functional ultrasound imaging a prominent place in the domain of pathological modeling of brain diseases and screening potential therapeutic agents.
Investigating Neurological Disorders fUS holds promise for elucidating the pathophysiology of various neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and psychiatric disorders. By monitoring changes in brain activity patterns and vascular dynamics, fUS enables early detection and characterization of disease-related alterations in preclinical models.

Transformative Potential and Future Directions

Recognizing the need for advanced imaging techniques that can support comprehensive and dynamic explorations of brain function and pathology is integral to progress in neuroscience. fUS imaging offers precisely that, a non-invasive possibility to explore the brain and its intricacies. While fUS holds tremendous potential, several challenges must be addressed to fully harness its capabilities.

  • Technical advancements are needed to enhance spatial resolution and penetration depth, allowing for deeper imaging of subcortical structures and improved localization of neural activity.
  • Efforts to standardize data acquisition and analysis protocols will facilitate cross-study comparisons and ensure the reproducibility of findings across different research settings.
  • Continued innovation in ultrasound technology, coupled with advances in computational neuroscience and machine learning, will further enhance the capabilities of fUS systems, enabling comprehensive mapping of brain function at unprecedented scales.
  • The integration of multimodal imaging approaches, such as combining fUS with optogenetics or calcium imaging, holds the potential to provide a holistic understanding of neural dynamics in health and disease.

With its encouraging ability to offer real-time high-resolution images and safe multiple scanning options, fUS can broaden our horizons in neuroscience research, disease diagnostics, and therapy. From establishing robust protocols to developing novel software to extract vital data from fUS images, our team is committed to unlocking the full potential of fUS imaging. At Creative Biolabs, we are enthusiastic about the promising future of preclinical neuroimaging using fUS imaging and continually strive to innovate and integrate novel methodologies into our research framework.


  1. Deffieux, Thomas, Charlie Demené, and Mickael Tanter. "Functional ultrasound imaging: a new imaging modality for neuroscience." Neuroscience 474 (2021): 110-121.
For Research Use Only. Not For Clinical Use.
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