Deep Brain Stimulation & the Finite Element Method

In certain neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, there is overactivity in central areas of the brain that fine-tunes the movements of the body. This can result in symptoms such as tremor and rigidity in the patient. These symptoms can be reduced greatly by destroying or jamming a small part of the overactive area.

I work with technical methods for this such as radio frequency (RF) ablation, where a temperature-controlled high frequency current is used to thermally coagulate tissue, and deep brain stimulation (DBS), where a chronically implanted electrode is used to jam the pathologic activity. I perform simulations with the finite element method (FEM) in order to estimate the affected volume around the electrode and I perform diffuse reflection spectroscopy and laser Doppler flowmetry during implantation of electrodes in order to confirm correct placement and avoid rupturing larger blood vessels. I have also been a postdoc at ICFO – The Institute for Photonic Sciences in Spain where I studied effects on blood volume, oxygen saturation and flow with optical techniques.

Research interests

  • Finite element method (FEM) simulations of radio frequency (RF) ablation in the brain, especially modeling and studying impact blood flow and convection in cerebrospinal fluid.
  • FEM simulations of deep brain stimulation (DBS)
  • Experimental studies on RF ablation in the brain.
  • Clinical study of electric impedance and reflected light intensity in the human brain for guidance during implantation of deep brain stimulation electrodes.
  • Monte Carlo simulations for short fiber distance light transport in the brain.
  • Development of light transport models for invasive spectroscopy in the brain.
  • Clinical study of chromophore content (e.g. blood volume and oxygenation, lipofuscin and mitochondrial cytochromes) in the brain along trajectories for deep brain stimulation electrodes. 
  • Scanning system for simultaneous intermediate fibre distance diffuse optical spectroscopy (DOS) and diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) for measurement of blood flow, volume and oxygenation.
  • Murine in vivo study of effects on blood flow, volume and oxygenation from antiangiogenic therapy in renal cell carcinoma.
  • Clinical study of blood flow, volume and oxygen saturation in the thyroid using DCS and time-resolved spectroscopy.
  • Laser ablation of renal cell carcinoma. 

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