06 March 2019 Congratulations to New ICFO PhD graduate

Dr. Clara Gregori


Thesis Committee

Dr. Clara Gregori graduated with a thesis entitled “Correlates of Cerebral Vasoreactivity Measured by Non-Invasive Diffuse Optical Measurements as Biomarkers of Brain Injury Risk” Dr. Clara Gregori received a Master in Engineering Physics and Biomedical Physics at the Royal Institute of Technologyhis (SE) before joining the Medical Optics research group led by ICREA Professor at ICFO Dr. Turgut Durduran. At ICFO, she worked with diffuse optical techniques to use and develop a practical new platform for the non-invasive estimation of cerebral hemodynamics. Dr. Gregori’s thesis, entitled “Correlates of Cerebral Vasoreactivity Measured by Non-Invasive Diffuse Optical Measurements as Biomarkers of Brain Injury Risk”, was supervised by Prof. Turgut Durduran.

Abstract

I have used and developed a practical new platform in the clinics for the non-invasive estimation of cerebral hemodynamics. The platform combines two diffuse optical techniques: near-infrared spectroscopy and diffuse correlation spectroscopy.

To study patients at a high risk of cerebrovascular accidents, and those who have recently suffered an ischemic stroke, several protocols were devised and carried out. This set of multi-disciplinary studies was performed in close collaboration with the Stroke Unit and the Sleep Unit at Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (Barcelona, Spain) with the ultimate goal to identify new biomarkers for the assessment of cerebral autoregulation and cerebral vasoreactivity, and, ultimately, cerebral well-being.

The bulk of the studies on these patients focused on the investigation of microvascular cerebral physiology in response to a non-invasive and benign challenge, without the need of patient collaboration nor any additional equipment. This challenge involved an alteration of the patient head-of-bed positioning. Interestingly, the head-of-bed challenge with the measurement of microvascular cerebral blood flow has been shown as a potential protocol to tell us about the status of cerebral autoregulation in these patients. This in turn was shown to track impairments over time, and the patients’ response to treatments, and to predict long-term outcome.

Overall, this thesis pushes the limits of the clinical translation of hybrid diffuse optics, paving the way for new clinical applications at the point-of-care and in the neurocritical care.

THESIS COMMITTEE:
Prof Antonio Pifferi, Politecnico di Milano
Prof. Michael Krieg, ICFO
Dr Mª Antonia Poca, Hospital Vall D’Hebrón


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