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A Novel Computing Platform for Accelerated Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Cancer Imaging

Description

Compressed sensing magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) is a noninvasive and in vivo potential diagnostic technique for cancer imaging. This technique undersamples the distribution of specific cancer biomarkers within an MR image as well as changes in the temporal dimension

Compressed sensing magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) is a noninvasive and in vivo potential diagnostic technique for cancer imaging. This technique undersamples the distribution of specific cancer biomarkers within an MR image as well as changes in the temporal dimension and subsequently reconstructs the missing data. This technique has been shown to retain a high level of fidelity even with an acceleration factor of 5. Currently there exist several different scanner types that each have their separate analytical methods in MATLAB. A graphical user interface (GUI) was created to facilitate a single computing platform for these different scanner types in order to improve the ease and efficiency with which researchers and clinicians interact with this technique. A GUI was successfully created for both prospective and retrospective MRSI data analysis. This GUI retained the original high fidelity of the reconstruction technique and gave the user the ability to load data, load reference images, display intensity maps, display spectra mosaics, generate a mask, display the mask, display kspace and save the corresponding spectra, reconstruction, and mask files. Parallelization of the reconstruction algorithm was explored but implementation was ultimately unsuccessful. Future work could consist of integrating this parallelization method, adding intensity overlay functionality and improving aesthetics.

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2016-05

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A Novel Temperature-Sensitive MR & Fluorescence Imaging Contrast Agent

Description

Contrast agents in medical imaging can help visualize structural details, distributions of particular cell types, or local environment characteristics. Multi-modal imaging techniques have become increasingly popular for their improved sensitivity, resolution, and ability to correlate structural and functional information. This

Contrast agents in medical imaging can help visualize structural details, distributions of particular cell types, or local environment characteristics. Multi-modal imaging techniques have become increasingly popular for their improved sensitivity, resolution, and ability to correlate structural and functional information. This study addresses the development of dual-modality (magnetic resonance/fluorescence) and dual-functional (thermometry/detection) nanoprobes for enhanced tissue imaging.

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2015-05

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Fast, variable system delay correction for spiral MRI

Description

Magnetic Resonance Imaging using spiral trajectories has many advantages in speed, efficiency in data-acquistion and robustness to motion and flow related artifacts. The increase in sampling speed, however, requires high performance of the gradient system. Hardware inaccuracies from system delays

Magnetic Resonance Imaging using spiral trajectories has many advantages in speed, efficiency in data-acquistion and robustness to motion and flow related artifacts. The increase in sampling speed, however, requires high performance of the gradient system. Hardware inaccuracies from system delays and eddy currents can cause spatial and temporal distortions in the encoding gradient waveforms. This causes sampling discrepancies between the actual and the ideal k-space trajectory. Reconstruction assuming an ideal trajectory can result in shading and blurring artifacts in spiral images. Current methods to estimate such hardware errors require many modifications to the pulse sequence, phantom measurements or specialized hardware. This work presents a new method to estimate time-varying system delays for spiral-based trajectories. It requires a minor modification of a conventional stack-of-spirals sequence and analyzes data collected on three orthogonal cylinders. The method is fast, robust to off-resonance effects, requires no phantom measurements or specialized hardware and estimate variable system delays for the three gradient channels over the data-sampling period. The initial results are presented for acquired phantom and in-vivo data, which show a substantial reduction in the artifacts and improvement in the image quality.

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2013

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Novel nuclear magnetic resonance coil for magnetic resonance mesoscopy

Description

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an efficient non-invasive imaging tool widely used in medical field to produce high quality images. The MRI signal is detected with specifically developed radio frequency (RF) systems or "coils". There are several key parameters to

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an efficient non-invasive imaging tool widely used in medical field to produce high quality images. The MRI signal is detected with specifically developed radio frequency (RF) systems or "coils". There are several key parameters to evaluate the performance of RF coils: signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), homogeneity, quality factor (Q factor), sensitivity, etc. The choice of coil size and configuration depends on the object to be imaged. While surface coils have better sensitivity, volume coils are often employed to image a larger region of interest (ROI) as they display better spatial homogeneity. For the cell labeling and imaging studies using the newly developed siloxane based nanoemulsions as 1H MR reporter probes, the first step is to determine the sensitivity of signal detection under controlled conditions in vitro. In this thesis, a novel designed 7 Tesla RF volume coil was designed and tested for detection of small quantities of siloxane probe as well as for imaging of labeled tumor spheroid. The procedure contains PCB circuit design, RF probe design, test and subsequent modification. In this report, both theory and design methodology will be discussed.

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2014

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Design of apoferritin-based nanoparticle MRI contrast agents through controlled metal deposition

Description

Sensitivity is a fundamental challenge for in vivo molecular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Here, I improve the sensitivity of metal nanoparticle contrast agents by strategically incorporating pure and doped metal oxides in the nanoparticle core, forming a soluble, monodisperse, contrast

Sensitivity is a fundamental challenge for in vivo molecular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Here, I improve the sensitivity of metal nanoparticle contrast agents by strategically incorporating pure and doped metal oxides in the nanoparticle core, forming a soluble, monodisperse, contrast agent with adjustable T2 or T1 relaxivity (r2 or r1). I first developed a simplified technique to incorporate iron oxides in apoferritin to form "magnetoferritin" for nM-level detection with T2- and T2* weighting. I then explored whether the crystal could be chemically modified to form a particle with high r1. I first adsorbed Mn2+ ions to metal binding sites in the apoferritin pores. The strategic placement of metal ions near sites of water exchange and within the crystal oxide enhance r1, suggesting a mechanism for increasing relaxivity in porous nanoparticle agents. However, the Mn2+ addition was only possible when the particle was simultaneously filled with an iron oxide, resulting in a particle with a high r1 but also a high r2 and making them undetectable with conventional T1-weighting techniques. To solve this problem and decrease the particle r2 for more sensitive detection, I chemically doped the nanoparticles with tungsten to form a disordered W-Fe oxide composite in the apoferritin core. This configuration formed a particle with a r1 of 4,870mM-1s-1 and r2 of 9,076mM-1s-1. These relaxivities allowed the detection of concentrations ranging from 20nM - 400nM in vivo, both passively injected and targeted to the kidney glomerulus. I further developed an MRI acquisition technique to distinguish particles based on r2/r1, and show that three nanoparticles of similar size can be distinguished in vitro and in vivo with MRI. This work forms the basis for a new, highly flexible inorganic approach to design nanoparticle contrast agents for molecular MRI.

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2012

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Multi-parametric MRI Study of Brain Insults (Traumatic Brain Injury and Brain Tumor) in Animal Models

Description

The objective of this small animal pre-clinical research project was to study quantitatively the long-term micro- and macro- structural brain changes employing multiparametric MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) techniques. Two separate projects make up the basis of this thesis. The first

The objective of this small animal pre-clinical research project was to study quantitatively the long-term micro- and macro- structural brain changes employing multiparametric MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) techniques. Two separate projects make up the basis of this thesis. The first part focuses on obtaining prognostic information at early stages in the case of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in rat animal model using imaging data acquired at 24-hours and 7-days post injury. The obtained parametric T2 and diffusion values from DTI (Diffusion Tensor Imaging) showed significant deviations in the signal intensities from the control and were potentially useful as an early indicator of the severity of post-traumatic injury damage. DTI was especially critical in distinguishing between the cytotoxic and vasogenic edema and in identification of injury regions resolving to normal control values by day-7. These results indicate the potential of quantitative MRI as a clinical marker in predicting prognosis following TBI. The second part of this thesis focuses on studying the effect of novel therapeutic strategies employing dendritic cell (DC) based vaccinations in mice glioma model. The treatment cohorts included comparing a single dose of Azacytidine drug vs. mice getting three doses of drug per week. Another cohort was used as an untreated control group. The MRI results did not show any significant changes in between the two treated cohorts with no reduction in tumor volumes compared to the control group. The future studies would be focused on issues regarding the optimal dose for the application of DC vaccine. Together, the quantitative MRI plays an important role in the prognosis and diagnosis of the above mentioned pathologies, providing essential information about the anatomical location, micro-structural tissue environment, lesion volume and treatment response.

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Date Created
2014

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Improved spatial coverage of high-temporal resolution dynamic susceptibility contrast-MRI through 3D spiral-based acquisition and parallel imaging

Description

Dynamic susceptibility contrast MRI (DSC-MRI) is a powerful tool used to quantitatively measure parameters related to blood flow and volume in the brain. The technique is known as a “bolus-tracking” method and relies upon very fast scanning to accurately measure

Dynamic susceptibility contrast MRI (DSC-MRI) is a powerful tool used to quantitatively measure parameters related to blood flow and volume in the brain. The technique is known as a “bolus-tracking” method and relies upon very fast scanning to accurately measure the flow of contrast agent into and out of a region of interest. The need for high temporal resolution to measure contrast agent dynamics limits the spatial coverage of perfusion parameter maps which limits the utility of DSC-perfusion studies in pathologies involving the entire brain. Typical clinical DSC-perfusion studies are capable of acquiring 10-15 slices, generally centered on a known lesion or pathology.

The methods developed in this work improve the spatial coverage of whole-brain DSC-MRI by combining a highly efficient 3D spiral k-space trajectory with Generalized Autocalibrating Partial Parallel Acquisition (GRAPPA) parallel imaging without increasing temporal resolution. The proposed method is capable of acquiring 30 slices with a temporal resolution of under 1 second, covering the entire cerebrum with isotropic spatial resolution of 3 mm. Additionally, the acquisition method allows for correction of T1-enhancing leakage effects by virtue of collecting two echoes, which confound DSC perfusion measurements. The proposed DSC-perfusion method results in high quality perfusion parameter maps across a larger volume than is currently available with current clinical standards, improving diagnostic utility of perfusion MRI methods, which ultimately improves patient care.

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2017

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Anisotropy in diffusion and electrical conductivity distributions of TX-151 phantoms

Description

Among electrical properties of living tissues, the differentiation of tissues or organs provided by electrical conductivity is superior. The pathological condition of living tissues is inferred from the spatial distribution of conductivity. Magnetic Resonance Electrical Impedance Tomography (MREIT) is

Among electrical properties of living tissues, the differentiation of tissues or organs provided by electrical conductivity is superior. The pathological condition of living tissues is inferred from the spatial distribution of conductivity. Magnetic Resonance Electrical Impedance Tomography (MREIT) is a relatively new non-invasive conductivity imaging technique. The majority of conductivity reconstruction algorithms are suitable for isotropic conductivity distributions. However, tissues such as cardiac muscle and white matter in the brain are highly anisotropic. Until recently, the conductivity distributions of anisotropic samples were solved using isotropic conductivity reconstruction algorithms. First and second spatial derivatives of conductivity (∇σ and ∇2σ ) are integrated to obtain the conductivity distribution. Existing algorithms estimate a scalar conductivity instead of a tensor in anisotropic samples.

Accurate determination of the spatial distribution of a conductivity tensor in an anisotropic sample necessitates the development of anisotropic conductivity tensor image reconstruction techniques. Therefore, experimental studies investigating the effect of ∇2σ on degree of anisotropy is necessary. The purpose of the thesis is to compare the influence of ∇2σ on the degree of anisotropy under two different orthogonal current injection pairs.

The anisotropic property of tissues such as white matter is investigated by constructing stable TX-151 gel layer phantoms with varying degrees of anisotropy. MREIT and Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DWI) experiments were conducted to probe the conductivity and diffusion properties of phantoms. MREIT involved current injection synchronized to a spin-echo pulse sequence. Similarities and differences in the divergence of the vector field of ∇σ (∇2σ) among anisotropic samples subjected to two different current injection pairs were studied. DWI of anisotropic phantoms involved the application of diffusion-weighted magnetic field gradients with a spin-echo pulse sequence. Eigenvalues and eigenvectors of diffusion tensors were compared to characterize diffusion properties of anisotropic phantoms.

The orientation of current injection electrode pair and degree of anisotropy influence the spatial distribution of ∇2σ. Anisotropy in conductivity is preserved in ∇2σ subjected to non-symmetric electric fields. Non-symmetry in electric field is observed in current injections parallel and perpendicular to the orientation of gel layers. The principal eigenvalue and eigenvector in the phantom with maximum anisotropy display diffusion anisotropy.

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2015