Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Guoqiang Yu


Measurement of tissue hemodynamics provides vital information for the assessment of tissue viability. This thesis reports three noninvasive near-infrared diffuse optical systems for spectroscopic measurements and tomographic imaging of tissue hemodynamics in vulnerable tissues with the goal of disease diagnosis and treatment monitoring. A hybrid near-infrared spectroscopy/diffuse correlation spectroscopy (NIRS/DCS) instrument with a contact fiber-optic probe was developed and utilized for simultaneous and continuous monitoring of blood flow (BF), blood oxygenation, and oxidative metabolism in exercising gastrocnemius. Results measured by the hybrid NIRS/DCS instrument in 37 subjects (mean age: 67 ± 6) indicated that vitamin D supplement plus aerobic training improved muscle metabolic function in older population. To reduce the interference and potential infection risk on vulnerable tissues caused by the contact measurement, a noncontact diffuse correlation spectroscopy/tomography (ncDCS/ncDCT) system was then developed. The ncDCS/ncDCT system employed optical lenses to project limited numbers of sources and detectors on the tissue surface. A motor-driven noncontact probe scanned over a region of interest to collect boundary data for three dimensional (3D) tomographic imaging of blood flow distribution. The ncDCS was tested for BF measurements in mastectomy skin flaps. Nineteen (19) patients underwent mastectomy and implant-based breast reconstruction were measured before and immediately after mastectomy. The BF index after mastectomy in each patient was normalized to its baseline value before surgery to get relative BF (rBF). Since rBF values in the patients with necrosis (n = 4) were significantly lower than those without necrosis (n = 15), rBF levels can be used to predict mastectomy skin flap necrosis. The ncDCT was tested for 3D imaging of BF distributions in chronic wounds of 5 patients. Spatial variations in BF contrasts over the wounded tissues were observed, indicating the capability of ncDCT in detecting tissue hemodynamic heterogeneities. To improve temporal/spatial resolution and avoid motion artifacts due to a long mechanical scanning of ncDCT, an electron-multiplying charge-coupled device based noncontact speckle contrast diffuse correlation tomography (scDCT) was developed. Validation of scDCT was done by imaging both high and low BF contrasts in tissue-like phantoms and human forearms. In a wound imaging study using scDCT, significant lower BF values were observed in the burned areas/volumes compared to surrounding normal tissues in two patients with burn. One limitation in this study was the potential influence of other unknown tissue optical properties such as tissue absorption coefficient (µa) on BF measurements. A new algorithm was then developed to extract both µa and BF using light intensities and speckle contrasts measured by scDCT at multiple source-detector distances. The new algorithm was validated using tissue-like liquid phantoms with varied values of µa and BF index. In-vivo validation and application of the innovative scDCT technique with the new algorithm is the subject of future work.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Nos. R01-CA149274, R21-AR062356, R21-AG034279, R21-AG046762, and R21-HD091118; American Heart Association (AHA) Grant-In-Aid 16GRNT30820006; National Endowment for Plastic Surgery (NEPS), Plastic Surgery Foundation No. 3048112770; National Science Foundation (NSF) EPSCoR #1539068.