Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Sridhar Sunderam


Subtle changes in sleep architecture can accompany and be symptomatic of various diseases or disorders. Understanding the complex interactions between sleep and health requires the ability to characterize sleep, probe its underlying mechanisms through perturbation, and quantify dependent physiological outcomes. Rodent models have come to be accepted as a valuable tool for preclinical investigations. However, experimental tools to accomplish such research typically rely on laborious methods that limit throughput and flexibility. Thus, research tools that minimize workload could be of great value to the research community and expedite investigation of the underlying mechanisms of sleep and further the development of treatment strategies.

This dissertation describes the development and evaluation of a set of experimental tools for use in preclinical studies related to sleep and behavior. First, a real-time sleep classification software framework for use in closed-loop sleep experimentation was developed. Then, the feasibility of controlled vibro-tactile stimulation was evaluated for use in sleep-perturbation, and this was later combined with the real-time algorithm to accomplish selective sleep restriction. Finally, a method for quantifying abnormal motor behavior associated with disordered sleep (tremor) was developed and applied in an acute animal model. Together, these methods provide a synergistic set of tools for characterizing sleep and its role in health and disease.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (Grant No. NS083218 and NS107148) from 2015-2021.

Available for download on Saturday, May 20, 2023