Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 1-31-2012

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Mesut Sahin

Second Advisor

Bryan J. Pfister

Third Advisor

Yahia M. Al-Smadi


Near infrared (NIR) lasers have been used in medical applications both for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Temperature elevation profile inside the tissue is a critical factor that needs to be better understood in these applications. The purpose of this study is to determine the temperature distribution due to a low power N I R laser irradiation in living neural tissue. Temperature measurements were made directly using a thermocouple probe inside the rat brain cortex within the sagittal plane. The spatial map indicates that N I R light penetrates more readily in the vertical directions than the spreading in the horizontal axis. The decrease in the vertical direction can be approximated with a single order exponentially decaying function. The results also suggest that the temperature elevation can be kept below 0.5 °C anywhere in the tissue if the incident laser beam power density is less than 27 mW/cm2. These experiments should be repeated in other types of neural tissue such as the white matter of the brain and the spinal cord to obtain more complete results.