Sections : MR Research

MR Research

The MR Research Group is primarily involved with the development of acquisition methods and data processing techniques for magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI), and in the application of these techniques for diagnostic neuroimaging. MRSI is a technique that combines the imaging capabilities of MRI with the analytical capabilities of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and can be used to monitor distributions of several metabolites within the human body. Clinical research studies include the use of 1H MRSI for observation of brain metabolite distributions for epilepsy localization, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and characterization of traumatic brain injury.

Data processing methods are being developed to improve the reconstruction of MRSI data. This includes providing increased sensitivity for analysis of the acquired spectra, which typically have low signal to noise and contain a number of distortions, and improving the quality of the resultant metabolite images. In addition, an increased level of automation is being provided, in order to make these methods more generally applicable for routine clinical diagnostic studies. Additional projects include development of simulation methods that model the MRSI acquisition, and these techniques are being used to optimize acquisition parameters and data analysis methods.

Software developed by Dr. Maudsley’s laboratory for MRSI processing and display has been distributed to research sites worldwide. Under the support of a NIH Biomedical Engineering Partnership grant, Dr. Maudsley is directing the MIDAS project that aims to develop and distribute data processing methods that will simplify implementation of MRSI for clinical research. This project will also develop maps of normal metabolite distributions in human brain.

Experimental Capabilities

Due to the large selection of specialized hardware, optimized software and knowledgeable personnel, our modern facility has a wide selection of experimental capabilities providing the ability to investigate many different disease states over a range of different animal models. Below is a brief description of the different disease states that may be investigated, some of our experimental capabilities, and the range of subjects and samples within our experimental capabilities.

  • Structural and Anatomical imaging
  • Diffusion weighted imaging
  • Perfusion weighted imaging
  • Contrast Enhanced Imaging
  • Cardiac Imaging
  • Angiography
  • Volume selective spectroscopy

Range of Compatible Subjects and Samples:

  • Subjects and Samples from (1cm to 20cm) diameter
  • Subjects and Samples from (2g to 20kg)
  • Capable of a large range of animal models
  • Various ex vivo tissue samples possible
  • Biologically representative phantoms

Areas of Investigation

Our Facility has the ability to investigate many different disease states over a range of different animal models, including:

  • TBI and SCI
  • Stroke, Ischemia and Hypoxia
  • Cardiac Studies
  • Anatomical studies
  • Metabolism studies
  • Cancer studies