Quantitative cerebral blood flow measurement with Multi Exposure Speckle Imaging
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Cerebral blood flow (CBF) measures are central to the investigation of ischemic strokes, spreading depressions, functional and neuronal activation. Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging (LSCI) is an optical imaging technique that has been used to obtain CBF measures in vivo at high spatial and temporal resolutions, by quantifying the localized spatial blurring of backscattered coherent light induced by blood flow. Despite being widely used for biomedical applications, LSCI's critical limitations such as its tendency to underestimate large flow changes and its inability to accurately estimate CBF through a thinned skull have not been overcome. This dissertation presents a new Multi Exposure Speckle Imaging (MESI) technique that combines a new instrument and mathematical model to overcome these limitations. Additionally, in a pilot clinical study, an adapted neurosurgical microscope was used to obtain intra-operative LSCI images of CBF in humans. The MESI instrument accurately estimates experimental constants by imaging backscattered speckles over a wide range of the camera's exposure durations. The MESI mathematical model helps account for light that has scattered from both static and moving particles. In controlled flow experiments using tissue simulating phantoms, the MESI technique was found to estimate large changes in flow accurately and the estimates of flow changes were found to be unaffected by the presence of static particles in these phantoms. In an in vivo experiment in which the middle cerebral artery in mice was occluded to induce ~100% reduction in CBF, not only was the reduction in CBF accurately estimated by the MESI technique but these estimates of CBF changes were found to be unaffected by the presence of a thinned skull. The validity of statistical models used to derive the MESI mathematical model was confirmed using in vivo dynamic light scattering (DLS) measurements of CBF in mice. The MESI technique's potential to estimate absolute values of CBF in vivo was demonstrated by comparing CBF estimates obtained using the MESI technique to DLS measurements. The MESI technique's ability to measure CBF changes quantitatively through a thinned skull makes it particularly useful in chronic and long term studies leading to the development of better, more accurate stroke models.