Biomedical engineering company PLUX and R&D company Charles River Analytics announced the joint commercial launch of a new miniaturized wireless fNIRS sensor that captures high-quality signal at a fraction of the current systems costs. Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS)
sensors measure the red and infrared light reflectance in the cortical tissue. These sensors are typically applied on the forehead and can be used to estimate blood oxygen saturation level in the brain tissue.
The new fNIRS sensor was developed under a US Army project called “A system for augmenting training by Monitoring, Extracting, and Decoding Indicators of Cognitive Workload” (MEDIC)*, and a US Air Force contract called an “Adaptive toolkit for the Assessment and augmentation of Performance by Teams in Real time (ADAPTER)”. The sensor is being used as part of an unobtrusive set of biosignals sensors and advanced data processing software to automatically sense indicators of cognitive workload to augment performance observations, offering insight into factors underlying that performance.
Dr. Bethany Bracken, project lead researcher, stated that such an unobtrusive system to measure cognitive state will be useful across multiple domains including to make laboratory-based experiments easier and portable into real-world environments, to assess training and teaching curriculum effectiveness and tailor training curriculum to the needs of each student, and during testing and evaluation of new tools early in the design phase to streamline development of intuitive tools. PLUX Chairman, Prof. Hugo Gamboa states that this collaboration exemplifies how PLUX deep engineering capabilities and expertise with Biosignals support the design of innovative sensor solutions for various fields of use.
Both companies confirm that they are developing an even more robust and integrated sensor solution, together with additional support software, and are expecting to patent and introduce this innovation to the market in 2018. The current sensor is marketed for the research community under PLUX biosignalsplux product line and is available for purchase either on PLUX online store or through its resellers network.Note: The development of this sensor is based upon work supported by the United States Army Medical Research and Materiel Command under Contract No. W81XWH-14-C-0018 and United States Air Force under Contract No. FA8650-14-C-6579. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Army Medical Research and Materiel Command or the United States Air Force