A brief history of Nirfast:
Nirfast was originally developed in 2001 as a MATLAB-based package
used to model near-infrared light propagation through tissue and
reconstruct images of optical biomarkers. As research in optical
imaging advanced, many of these major innovations where introduced
in the field and included in the NIRFAST software. For example,
coupling an optical image system with conventional medical imaging
modalities to enable multi-model "spacial priors"
In the early 2010s, NIRFAST developers introduced a major update
to the software by releasing a vtk-based user interface to import
medical images (DICOMS) from conventional imaging systems (MRI,
CT, etc.), segment those images into tissue regions, create
NIRFAST-compatible finite element meshes, and use those meshes to
reconstruct images of optical biomarkers. While closely linked,
users still had to download the image processing front-end (called
"NIRView") and MATLAB-based optical computation packages
(called "NIRFAST") separately.
March, 2016: NIRFASTSlicer
NIRFASTSlicer is the latest version of NIRFAST (now available for
download), and marks another major milestone for the NIRFAST
project. NIRFASTSlicer integrates the traditional NIRFAST optical
computation engine (MATLAB code) into a customised version of
3DSlicer, which now handles all of the medical image
processing/analysis tasks (replacing NIRView). 3DSlicer is an
open-source medical image processing software package, well known
in the medical imaging research community. It is maintained by a
large community of developers, is highly extensible, and
facilitates creation of custom versions for specific applications.
In addition to offering a stable, well-maintained platform with
cutting edge imaging processing tools for the NIRFAST workflow,
this update also provides a single installer.
April, 2021: NIRFASTer
Taking full advantage of heterogenous computing capabilities of
modern computers, NIRFAST has been re-engineered to utilise both
multi-threading and GPU capabilities without the need of
additional MATLAB toolboxes: specifically, the main models of
NIRFAST have been developed utilising custom developed mex files,
allowed utilisation of multiple cores, and where available, Nvidia
March, 2018: Major update released as NIRFASTSlicer 2.0 and
This release introduced:
A much more sophisticated and user-friendly set of
Support for unstructured mesh visualisation through the
'Models' module. This enabled drag-and-drop
loading to view NIRFAST Finite Element meshes.
Consequently, the 3D visualisation package in
NIRFASTMatlab used previously to view volumetric meshes
NIRFASTMatlab was unbundled from NIRFASTSlicer to make
project management more efficient.
At NIRFAST LTD, we are able to offer customised support for
utilisation of our modelling and image reconstruction software
for specific applications.