Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Wei-Chiang Lin

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Jorge J Riera

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Co-chair

Third Advisor's Name

Anthony McGoron

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Malek Adjouadi

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Armando Barreto

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Intraoperative, Optics, Brain tumor, Epilepsy

Date of Defense



For most of the patients with brain tumors and/or epilepsy, surgical resection of brain lesions, when applicable, remains one of the optimal treatment options. The success of the surgery hinges on accurate demarcation of neoplastic and epileptogenic brain tissue. The primary goal of this PhD dissertation is to demonstrate the feasibility of using various optical techniques in conjunction with sophisticated signal processing algorithms to differentiate brain tumor and epileptogenic cortex from normal brain tissue intraoperatively.

In this dissertation, a new tissue differentiation algorithm was developed to detect brain tumors in vivo using a probe-based diffuse reflectance spectroscopy system. The system as well as the algorithm were validated experimentally on 20 pediatric patients undergoing brain tumor surgery at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. Based on the three indicative parameters, which reflect hemodynamic and structural characteristics, the new algorithm was able to differentiate brain tumors from the normal brain with a very high accuracy.

The main drawbacks of the probe-based system were its high susceptibility to artifacts induced by hand motion and its interference to the surgical procedure. Therefore, a new optical measurement scheme and its companion spectral interpretation algorithm were devised. The new measurement scheme was evaluated both theoretically with Monte Carlo simulation and experimentally using optical phantoms, which confirms the system is capable of consistently acquiring total diffuse reflectance spectra and accurately converting them to the ratio of reduced scattering coefficient to absorption coefficient (µs’(λ)/µa(λ)). The spectral interpretation algorithm for µs’(λ)/µa(λ) was also validated based on Monte Carlo simulation. In addition, it has been demonstrated that the new measurement scheme and the spectral interpretation algorithm together are capable of detecting significant hemodynamic and scattering variations from the Wistar rats’ somatosensory cortex under forepaw stimulation.

Finally, the feasibility of using dynamic intrinsic optical imaging to distinguish epileptogenic and normal cortex was validated in an in vivo study involving 11 pediatric patients with intractable epilepsy. Novel data analysis methods were devised and applied to the data from the study; identification of the epileptogenic cortex was achieved with a high accuracy.





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