Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Degree Level



Biomedical Engineering


Rajaram, Narasinham

Committee Member/Reader

Quinn, Kyle

Committee Member/Second Reader

Rajaram, Narasimhan


Breast cancer accounts for 30% of all cancer. Metastasis is the primary cause of death among breast cancer patients. Additionally, current molecular profiling methods such as Oncotype DX, which are expensive and not widely available at all clinical facilities, only determine the risk of recurrence after treatment. Therefore, there are no current method capable of identifying metastatic patients in advance.As a result, there is an unmet clinical need to develop a cost-effective prognostic to differentiate between indolent and aggressive breast tumors. In this study, we implemented diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) system to evaluate functional changes in tumor xenografts originated from four breast cancer cell lines with variable metastatic potential. The murine mammary cell lines 4T1, 4T07, 168FARN, and 67NR were injected into the flanks of mice to grow tumor xenografts. In addition, we used CRISPR/Cas-9 to delete TWIST- a gene known to promote tumor metastasis - and generate an indolent version of 4T1 (4T1-TWIST KO) that was also grown as xenografts. We collected optical data from these tumors bearing animals and using a look-up table inverse model, we determined vascular oxygen saturation (SO2), total hemoglobin concentration (cHb), and tissue light scattering at four different tumor volumes. Our preliminary data shows functional differences between indolent and aggressive tumors that can be further investigated in human cell line and patient-derived tumors.


Breast Cancer, Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy, TWIST gene, Tissue scattering, Vascular Oxygenation