LONDON, Jan. 15, 2016 — A near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy system has been used to measure cerebral changes and oxygen utilization in vivo, offering a noninvasive diagnostic technique for neonatal brain injury. Researchers from University College London, the Institute for Women's Health and the neonatal unit of the University College London Hospital Trust designed and tested the system, known as CYRIL (cytochrome research instrument and application). The CYRIL near-infrared spectroscopy system. Courtesy of Princeton Instruments. The system used the Acton series LS-785 lens-based spectrograph and the PIXIS:512F scientific CCD camera from Princeton Instruments of Trenton, N.J. The camera's cooling technology ensured low-noise performance. CYRIL simultaneously measured cerebral changes in tissue oxygenation and hemodynamics by estimating the changes in hemoglobin concentration. The portable system also tracked oxygen utilization by measuring the oxidation state of cytochrome-c-oxidase (CCO), which is responsible for more than 95 percent of oxygen metabolism in the body. Acquiring quantitative NIR spectral data and systemic data at the same time, the system permitted multimodal data analysis. In a cohort of six newborn infants with neonatal encephalopathy, data indicated that the relationship between hemoglobin oxygenation changes and CCO oxidation changes during spontaneous oxygen desaturation events was significantly correlated with a magnetic resonance spectroscopy-measured biomarker of injury severity. The research was published in Biomedical Optics Express (doi: 10.1364/BOE.5.003450).