Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2022.


General Engineering; Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Gaetano Restivo

Second Advisor

Julia Scott


Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinson’s affect hundreds of millions of people across the nation and world each year. While medications targeting disease pathways have often resulted in debilitating side effects, neurodegenerative diseases may be targeted by common pathways that promote healing of tissues via reduced inflammation, increased perfusion, and increased energy production. Photobiomodulation (PBM) targets all of these physiological processes with non-invasive near infra-red light stimulation and for this application the treatment will be applied to the head. Transcranial PBM has been used to effectively treat neurodegenerative diseases with improved cognitive and motor control outcomes. PBM applied to the brain causes detectable changes in brain activity, measured by electroencephalography (EEG). However, no tool exists to simultaneously implement PBM and EEG. Thus, the goal of this project was to design and prototype a hybrid PBM and EEG device. This report was created for the mechanical subsection of this project, which focuses on the integration of the EEG sensors, LED arrays, and cooling system, as well as the overall design of the helmet. The team was successfully able to create an effective cooling system through the utilization of heatsinks on the LED boards and fans attached to the OpenBCI helmet. The team was also able to successfully design and 3D print LED arrays to uniquely fit into the OpenBCI helmet, as well as a helmet shell cover. These designs allowed for the successful and safe integration of photobiomodulation into the EEG device.