Faculty Advisor

Dr. Craig F. Ferris

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth F. Ryder

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Daniel G. Gibson, III


Stroke is the most prevalent neurological disease facing our nation today. Treatments, however, are few and insufficient at reducing the impact of this neurological condition. Experimental animal models are important to improving our understanding of stroke, and for developing new therapies to counter the pathology of stroke. Magnetic Resonance Imaging is the leading tool for the non-invasive investigation of stroke pathophysiology. While most MRI work in animals is conducted under anesthesia, anesthesia has profound effects on cerebral circulation and metabolism, and can affect stroke outcome. Several novel methods were combined with MRI compatible physiologic monitoring equipment to conduct stroke studies in conscious animals. Stress was studied as a factor in these studies and conditioning was utilized to reduce the impact of stress on the animals' physiology. Models of both occlusive and hemorrhagic strokes were successfully implemented within the MRI apparatus. Lastly, experiments using a macrosphere model showed evidence of a pathophysiologic difference between awake and anesthetized animals that undergo stroke.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Biology & Biotechnology

Project Type


Date Accepted





stroke, animal models, MRI, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, physiology, pathology, Cerebrovascular disease, Magnetic resonance imaging, Magnetic resonance imaging in medicine, Laboratory animals