Detection of neural activity using phase-sensitive optical low-coherence reflectometry

Taner Akkin, Digant P. Davé, Thomas E. Milner, H. Grady Rylander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


We demonstrate non-contact sub-nanometer optical measurement of neural surface displacement associated with action potential propagation. Experimental results are recorded from nerve bundles dissected from crayfish walking leg using a phase-sensitive optical low coherence reflectometer. No exogenous chemicals or reflection coatings are applied. Transient neural surface displacement is less than 1 nm in amplitude, 1 ms in duration and is coincident with action potential arrival to the optical measurement site. Because the technique uses back-reflected light, noninvasive detection of various neuropathies may be possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2377-2386
Number of pages10
JournalOptics Express
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 31 2004


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