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

Richard Bone

Third Advisor's Name

Chenzhong Li

Fourth Advisor's Name

Armando Barreto

Fifth Advisor's Name

Malek Adjouadi


Epilepsy, Interictal, Brain Surgery, Instrumentation, Motion Artifacts, In Vivo Brain, Diffuse Reflectance, Optical Spectroscopy, Biomedical Optics, Time Dependent

Date of Defense



For children with intractable seizures, surgical removal of epileptic foci, if identifiable and feasible, can be an effective way to reduce or eliminate seizures. The success of this type of surgery strongly hinges upon the ability to identify and demarcate those epileptic foci. The ultimate goal of this research project is to develop an effective technology for detection of unique in vivo pathophysiological characteristics of epileptic cortex and, subsequently, to use this technology to guide epilepsy surgery intraoperatively. In this PhD dissertation the feasibility of using optical spectroscopy to identify unique in vivo pathophysiological characteristics of epileptic cortex was evaluated and proven using the data collected from children undergoing epilepsy surgery.

In this first in vivo human study, static diffuse reflectance and fluorescence spectra were measured from the epileptic cortex, defined by intraoperative ECoG, and its surrounding tissue from pediatric patients undergoing epilepsy surgery. When feasible, biopsy samples were taken from the investigated sites for the subsequent histological analysis. Using the histological data as the gold standard, spectral data was analyzed with statistical tools. The results of the analysis show that static diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and its combination with static fluorescence spectroscopy can be used to effectively differentiate between epileptic cortex with histopathological abnormalities and normal cortex in vivo with a high degree of accuracy.

To maximize the efficiency of optical spectroscopy in detecting and localizing epileptic cortex intraoperatively, the static system was upgraded to investigate histopathological abnormalities deep within the epileptic cortex, as well as to detect unique temporal pathophysiological characteristics of epileptic cortex. Detection of deep abnormalities within the epileptic cortex prompted a redesign of the fiberoptic probe. A mechanical probe holder was also designed and constructed to maintain the probe contact pressure and contact point during the time dependent measurements. The dynamic diffuse reflectance spectroscopy system was used to characterize in vivo pediatric epileptic cortex. The results of the study show that some unique wavelength dependent temporal characteristics (e.g., multiple horizontal bands in the correlation coefficient map g(λref = 800 nm, λcomp,t)) can be found in the time dependent recordings of diffuse reflectance spectra from epileptic cortex defined by ECoG.





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