Oulu Functional Neuroimaging - OFNI

OFNI is a internationally well connected translational neuroimaging research group at the University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital. Our pioneering research focuses on developing new ultrafast methods of detecting and sensing early changes in physiological brain pulsastions that drive both blood and the perivascular I/CSF exchange within the blood brain barrier (BBB). Based on our translational collaborations (OU & EU JPND consortia) we develop early treatment tools for brain blood/hydrodynamics failure in brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and brain tumors.

Research group information

Contact information

Research group leader

  • Professor
    Vesa Kiviniemi

Research group description

The core of our research is to improve early detection and treatment of brain diseases via two major veins: clinical and translational science.

The translational research focuses on understanding the baseline mechamisms behind brain solute transport and how these changes precede pathology. For this we have both local OY and international collaboration (EU JPND Good vibes consortium) in in vivo imaging research on genetic in vivo multiphoton microscopic imaging in mice. Since 2018 we have also developed ways to augment inssufficient brain solute transport and tissue efflux with non-pharmacological treatments.

The clinical studies focus on early abnormalities in physiological pulsations driving brain fluids along perivascular glymphatic vessels in diseases prior to permanent tissue damage. We mainly utilize ultrafast 10 Hz, whole brain MREG combined with synchoronous dcEEG, NIRS (Hb,HbO & H2O), and continuos non-invasive BP measurement. We have also recently finished phase I human study on increasing brain solute efflux using non-invasive methods.

OFNI research group is also part of Oulu University Neuro-oncological treatment team, that serves as a national center for PCNSL brain lymphoma treatment with blood-brain barrier (BBB) opening with i.a. mannitol. In 2023 using a 3 M€ private donation we purchased another BBB opening tool, the Insightec Exblate 4000 V2 focused ultrasound (FUS) for non-invasice, sub-mm precision BBB opening. These advanced techniques make us the only center having both existing BBB opening techniques.

We collaborate with several clinical research groups that focus on psychiatric and neurological disorders, such as schizophrenia,depression, dementia (AD & FTD), epilepsy, and autism. With neurosurgery we will participate in multinational gliblastoma BTO15 FUS Liquid Biopsy study to incorporate FUS BBB opening into OYS technique repertoire with a future aim to study it's use in the neuropsychiatric diseases mentioned above.

Our Collaborators

  • Maiken Nedergaard, University of Rochester, USA
  • Kullervo Hynenen, Sunnybrook, Canada
  • Yu-Feng Zang, Professor, Hanzhou Normal University, China
  • Jurgen Hennig, Maxim Zaitsev, Freiburg University, Martin Walter Jena, Germany
  • Kari Alitalo, Matias Palva,Tuomas Lilius, Terhi Lohela Helsinki University, Finland
  • Tarja Malm, Heikki Tanila, Olli Gröhn, UEF, Kuopio

In the Future

OFNI has long-term plans to develop more sensitive/earlier functional brain analysis methods for brain disorders.

Contact Us

Vesa Kiviniemi

Vesa Korhonen