Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Ulas Sunar, Ph.D. (Advisor); Andrew Voss, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Sandra Kostyk, M.D., Ph.D. (Committee Member); Tarun Goswami, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Mark Rich, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The research presented in this dissertation focused on the application of optical imaging techniques to establish blood flow and oxygen saturation as effective biomarkers for two disease cases, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Huntington’s Disease (HD). The BTBR mouse model of ASD was utilized to validate measurements of cerebral blood flow and oxygenation as biomarkers for autism. The R6/2 mouse model of juvenile HD was utilized to validate measurements of skeletal muscle blood flow following tetanic muscle contractions induced by electrical nerve stimulation. Next, a noncontact, camera-based system to measure blood flow and oxygen saturation maps was implemented to improve upon the previous HD mouse results by providing spatial heterogeneity in a wild-type mouse model. Finally, translational research was performed to validate a research design conducting concurrent grip strength force and skeletal muscle blood flow and oxygenation measurements in a healthy human population that will be used to establish HD biomarkers in humans in future clinical applications.

Page Count


Department or Program

Ph.D. in Engineering

Year Degree Awarded




Included in

Engineering Commons