Faculty Advisor

Liu, Yuxiang


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects nearly ten million people globally per year and is largely linked to sporting accidents. Knowing mechanical properties of brain tissues is imperative to diagnosis and prevention of TBIs. Yet, past and current methods yield a wide spectrum of brain tissue stiffness measurements with no clear convergence. Fiber optical tweezers (FOTs) have the potential to bridge this gap. Optical tweezers (OTs) are routinely used in biomechanics studies, but have not yet been used for brain measurements. FOTs are small, modular tools capable of trapping microspheres via laser illumination, allowing for mechanical interrogation of a local medium. FOTs were fabricated to realize brain white matter stiffness measurements, that are similar to those seen in literature.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2019


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering