Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

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

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Mesut Sahin

Second Advisor

Sergei Adamovich

Third Advisor

Bryan J. Pfister

Abstract

Near infrared (NIR) lasers find applications in medicine both for diagnostic and treatment purposes. Penetration depth into the tissue is a critical parameter to be considered in these NIR laser applications. Published data on the optical properties of rodent neural tissue are rare, despite the frequent use of rats as animal models. The aim of this study was to directly measure the light intensity profile inside the rat brain gray matter that is illuminated by an NIR laser beam. The local light intensities were sampled using an optical fiber inserted into the brain. The intensity profile in the axial direction to the laser beam had an initial fast decreasing phase followed by a less steeper slope by distance. In general, the light penetrated several times farther in the direction of the beam than its spread in the radial direction.

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