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EP/I026924/1 - Quantifying the Sources of Phase Contrast in High Resolution Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Human Brain.

Research Perspectives grant details from EPSRC portfolio

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Dr SJ Wharton EP/I026924/1 - Quantifying the Sources of Phase Contrast in High Resolution Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Human Brain.

Principal Investigator - Sch of Physics & Astronomy, University of Nottingham

Scheme

Postdoc Research Fellowship

Research Areas

Medical Imaging (inc medical image and vision computing) Medical Imaging (inc medical image and vision computing)

Collaborators

National Institute of Health National Institute of Health

Max Planck Max Planck

Cornell University Cornell University

Start Date

09/2011

End Date

09/2014

Value

£263,238

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Grant Description

Summary and Description of the grant

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a widely used technique that allows non-invasive imaging of soft tissues in the human body and brain. One of the strengths of MRI is its flexibility in producing images that contain different contrast properties based on differences in the composition of tissues. The research proposed here will attempt to characterise fully the contrast seen in the human brain using one such technique called gradient-echo phase imaging.Phase imaging of the human brain is a relatively new technique for providing information on the properties of tissue. The popularity of this technique has risen with the increased availability of ultra high field MRI scanners which use magnetic field strengths in excess of 3tesla (T). At high field strengths the contrast seen in phase images is amplified to the point where tissue structures that could previously only be seen in histology can now be visualised in vivo. The achievable spatial resolution of phase images measured at 7T is now approaching the 100 micron length-scale yielding important information on tissue structure and composition for researchers in the field neuroscience. Until recently, the contrast seen in phase images was thought to be solely due to differences in the isotropic, volume magnetic susceptibility of tissues, arising from variations in the concentrations of materials like iron and myelin. Over the last two years, the explanation of phase contrast in the human brain has grown in complexity as result of work showing that three new mechanisms could all potentially contribute to phase contrast. These mechanisms are: anisotropic susceptibility, frequency offsets due to long range order in the microstructure of tissue, and offsets due to the exchange of magnetisation between water protons and larger molecules. The goal of the work described in this proposal is to unravel the contribution of each of the different mechanisms to phase images of the human brain and to provide a clear understanding of the origin of each contrast mechanism. The research will primarily focus on post mortem tissue samples that allow more direct measurement of phase information and histology. The information gained from the analysis of these samples will then be applied to human phase images acquired in vivo. Quantification of the different sources of contrast in vivo will provide information about iron and myelin content, and nerve fibre orientation and composition, which could in future be used to improve our understanding and ability to diagnose diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.

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Grant Event Details:
Name: Quantifying the Sources of Phase Contrast in High Resolution Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Human Brain. - EP/I026924/1
Start Date: 2011-09-05T00:00:00+00:00
End Date: 2014-09-04T00:00:00+00:00

Organization: University of Nottingham

Description: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a widely used technique that allows non-invasive imaging of soft tissues in the human body and brain. One of the strengths of MRI is its flexibility in producing images that contain different contrast properties based on ...