Brain Mechanical Imaging (BMI)
Multiple brain imaging techniques have been introduced, with structural imaging playing a role in acute disease diagnosis and functional imaging providing valuable information on the recovery mechanisms. However, current diagnostic brain imaging techniques have limitations since the imaging modalities differ in sensitivities to various brain abnormalities, limiting their utility for diagnosis. To better understand the pathology of different brain diseases, there is a need to develop an effective and sensitive imaging marker which is easily translatable to clinical settings. As a non-invasive imaging technique, magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is based on synchronizing a mechanical actuator with a phase contrast imaging pulse sequence and measures tissue strain generated by sonic cyclic displacement. In this paper, we applied microscopic MRE (μMRE) as a diagnostic marker for characterizing different central nervous system disease models. While no single brain imaging modality can fully address the pathologies of different diseases, mechanical markers are proven to be effective in detecting different classes of brain diseases. This work aimed at: (1) designing, implementing, and testing an innovative actuation system for future μMRE applications, using a bite bar and rotating nose cone, to overcome the challenge of brain MRE – the brain is entirely encased by the skull, making wave generation and propagation inside complicated and demanding; (2) preliminary studies of using μMRE on different disease models, including multiple sclerosis (MS), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and medulloblastoma tumors.
KeywordsBrain model imaging MRE Elasticity imaging
The financial support provided to this study by the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and the University of Nebraska Medical Center under an Engineering for Medicine Research Collaboration Seed Grant is gratefully acknowledged.
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