Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Physics & Astronomy

First Advisor

Arjun G. Yodh


Diffuse Optical Tomography and Spectroscopy permit measurement of important physiological parameters non-invasively through ~10 cm of tissue. I have applied these techniques in measurements of human breast and breast cancer. My thesis integrates three loosely connected themes in this context: multi-modal breast cancer imaging, automated data analysis of breast cancer images, and microvascular hemodynamics of breast under compression. As per the first theme, I describe construction, testing, and the initial clinical usage of two generations of imaging systems for simultaneous diffuse optical and magnetic resonance imaging. The second project develops a statistical analysis of optical breast data from many spatial locations in a population of cancers to derive a novel optical signature of malignancy; I then apply this data-derived signature for localization of cancer in additional subjects. Finally, I construct and deploy diffuse optical instrumentation to measure blood content and blood flow during breast compression; besides optics, this research has implications for any method employing breast compression, e.g., mammography.

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