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Improving the Realism and Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Multicellular Tumor Spheroids

Description

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of changes in metabolic activity in tumors and metabolic abnormalities can provide a window to understanding the complex behavior of malignant tumors. Both diagnostics and treatment options can be improved through the further comprehension of the

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of changes in metabolic activity in tumors and metabolic abnormalities can provide a window to understanding the complex behavior of malignant tumors. Both diagnostics and treatment options can be improved through the further comprehension of the processes that contribute to tumor malignancy and growth. By detecting and disturbing this activity through personalized treatments, it is the hope to provide better diagnostics and care to patients. Experimenting with multicellular tumor spheroids (MCTS) allows for a rapid, inexpensive and convenient solution to studying multiple in vitro tumors. High quality magnetic resonance images of small samples, such as spheroid, however, are difficult to achieve with current radio frequency coils. In addition, in order for the information provided by these scans to accurately represent the interactions and metabolic activity in vivo, there is a need for a perfused vascular network. A perfused vascular network has the potential to improve metabolic realism and particle transport within a tumor spheroid. By creating a more life-like cancer model and allowing the progressive imaging of metabolic functions of such small samples, a better, more efficient mode of studying metabolic activity in cancer can be created and research efforts can expand. The progress described in this paper attempts to address both of these current shortcomings of metabolic cancer research and offers potential solutions, while acknowledging the potential of future work to improve cancer research with MCTS.

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2016-12

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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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Modeling and Characterization of Mass Transfer Kinetics in Tumor Tissue Using Dynamic Contrast Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DCE-MRI)

Description

The objective of the research presented here was to validate the use of kinetic models for the analysis of the dynamic behavior of a contrast agent in tumor tissue and evaluate the utility of such models in determining kinetic properties

The objective of the research presented here was to validate the use of kinetic models for the analysis of the dynamic behavior of a contrast agent in tumor tissue and evaluate the utility of such models in determining kinetic properties - in particular perfusion and molecular binding uptake associated with tissue hypoxia - of the imaged tissue, from concentration data acquired with dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) procedure. Data from two separate DCE-MRI experiments, performed in the past, using a standard contrast agent and a hypoxia-binding agent respectively, were analyzed. The results of the analysis demonstrated that the models used may provide novel characterization of the tumor tissue properties. Future research will work to further characterize the physical significance of the estimated parameters, particularly to provide quantitative oxygenation data for the imaged tissue.

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2013-12

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Novel siloxane nanoprobes for molecular and cellular imagin

Description

Oxygen delivery is crucial for the development of healthy, functional tissue. Low tissue oxygenation, or hypoxia, is a characteristic that is common in many tumors. Hypoxia contributes to tumor malignancy and can reduce the success of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Oxygen delivery is crucial for the development of healthy, functional tissue. Low tissue oxygenation, or hypoxia, is a characteristic that is common in many tumors. Hypoxia contributes to tumor malignancy and can reduce the success of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. There is a current need to noninvasively measure tumor oxygenation or pO2 in patients to determine a personalized treatment method. This project focuses on creating and characterizing nanoemulsions using a pO2 reporter molecule hexamethyldisiloxane (HMDSO) and its longer chain variants as well as assessing their cytotoxicity. We also explored creating multi-modal (MRI/Fluorescence) nanoemulsions.

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Date Created
2013-05

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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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Date Created
2013

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Coronary artery plaque assessment with fast switched dual energy X-ray computed tomography angiography

Description

Coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) has a high negative predictive value for ruling out coronary artery disease with non-invasive evaluation of the coronary arteries. My work has attempted to provide metrics that could increase the positive predictive value of coronary

Coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) has a high negative predictive value for ruling out coronary artery disease with non-invasive evaluation of the coronary arteries. My work has attempted to provide metrics that could increase the positive predictive value of coronary CTA through the use of dual energy CTA imaging. After developing an algorithm for obtaining calcium scores from a CTA exam, a dual energy CTA exam was performed on patients at dose levels equivalent to levels for single energy CTA with a calcium scoring exam. Calcium Agatston scores obtained from the dual energy CTA exam were within ±11% of scores obtained with conventional calcium scoring exams. In the presence of highly attenuating coronary calcium plaques, the virtual non-calcium images obtained with dual energy CTA were able to successfully measure percent coronary stenosis within 5% of known stenosis values, which is not possible with single energy CTA images due to the presence of the calcium blooming artifact. After fabricating an anthropomorphic beating heart phantom with coronary plaques, characterization of soft plaque vulnerability to rupture or erosion was demonstrated with measurements of the distance from soft plaque to aortic ostium, percent stenosis, and percent lipid volume in soft plaque. A classification model was developed, with training data from the beating heart phantom and plaques, which utilized support vector machines to classify coronary soft plaque pixels as lipid or fibrous. Lipid versus fibrous classification with single energy CTA images exhibited a 17% error while dual energy CTA images in the classification model developed here only exhibited a 4% error. Combining the calcium blooming correction and the percent lipid volume methods developed in this work will provide physicians with metrics for increasing the positive predictive value of coronary CTA as well as expanding the use of coronary CTA to patients with highly attenuating calcium plaques.

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Date Created
2013

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Utilizing Structural MRI Data to Improve Epilepsy Surgery Planning

Description

In epilepsy, malformations that cause seizures often require surgery. The purpose of this research is to join forces with the Multi-Center Epilepsy Lesion Detection (MELD) project at University College London (UCL) in order to improve the process of detecting lesions

In epilepsy, malformations that cause seizures often require surgery. The purpose of this research is to join forces with the Multi-Center Epilepsy Lesion Detection (MELD) project at University College London (UCL) in order to improve the process of detecting lesions in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. This, in turn, will improve surgical outcomes via more structured surgical planning. It is a global effort, with more than 20 sites across 5 continents. The targeted populations for this study include patients whose epilepsy stems from Focal Cortical Dysplasia. Focal Cortical Dysplasia is an abnormality of cortical development, and causes most of the drug-resistant epilepsy. Currently, the creators of MELD have developed a set of protocols which wrap various
commands designed to streamline post-processing of MRI images. Using this partnership, the Applied Neuroscience and Technology Lab at PCH has been able to complete production of a post-processing pipeline which integrates locally sourced smoothing techniques to help identify lesions in patients with evidence of Focal Cortical Dysplasia. The end result is a system in which a patient with epilepsy may experience more successful post-surgical results due to the
combination of a lesion detection mechanism and the radiologist using their trained eye in the presurgical stages. As one of the main points of this work is the global aspect of it, Barrett thesis funding was dedicated for a trip to London in order to network with other MELD project collaborators. This was a successful trip for the project as a whole in addition to this particular thesis. The ability to troubleshoot problems with one another in a room full of subject matter
experts allowed for a high level of discussion and learning. Future work includes implementing machine learning approaches which consider all morphometry parameters simultaneously.

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2019-05

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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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Date Created
2014

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Lead identification, optimization and characterization of novel cancer treatment strategies using repositioned drugs

Description

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and novel methods of treating advanced malignancies are of high importance. Of these deaths, prostate cancer and breast cancer are the second most fatal carcinomas in men and

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and novel methods of treating advanced malignancies are of high importance. Of these deaths, prostate cancer and breast cancer are the second most fatal carcinomas in men and women respectively, while pancreatic cancer is the fourth most fatal in both men and women. Developing new drugs for the treatment of cancer is both a slow and expensive process. It is estimated that it takes an average of 15 years and an expense of $800 million to bring a single new drug to the market. However, it is also estimated that nearly 40% of that cost could be avoided by finding alternative uses for drugs that have already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The research presented in this document describes the testing, identification, and mechanistic evaluation of novel methods for treating many human carcinomas using drugs previously approved by the FDA. A tissue culture plate-based screening of FDA approved drugs will identify compounds that can be used in combination with the protein TRAIL to induce apoptosis selectively in cancer cells. Identified leads will next be optimized using high-throughput microfluidic devices to determine the most effective treatment conditions. Finally, a rigorous mechanistic analysis will be conducted to understand how the FDA-approved drug mitoxantrone, sensitizes cancer cells to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis.

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Date Created
2013

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Analytical control grid registration for efficient application of optical flow

Description

Image resolution limits the extent to which zooming enhances clarity, restricts the size digital photographs can be printed at, and, in the context of medical images, can prevent a diagnosis. Interpolation is the supplementing of known data with estimated values

Image resolution limits the extent to which zooming enhances clarity, restricts the size digital photographs can be printed at, and, in the context of medical images, can prevent a diagnosis. Interpolation is the supplementing of known data with estimated values based on a function or model involving some or all of the known samples. The selection of the contributing data points and the specifics of how they are used to define the interpolated values influences how effectively the interpolation algorithm is able to estimate the underlying, continuous signal. The main contributions of this dissertation are three fold: 1) Reframing edge-directed interpolation of a single image as an intensity-based registration problem. 2) Providing an analytical framework for intensity-based registration using control grid constraints. 3) Quantitative assessment of the new, single-image enlargement algorithm based on analytical intensity-based registration. In addition to single image resizing, the new methods and analytical approaches were extended to address a wide range of applications including volumetric (multi-slice) image interpolation, video deinterlacing, motion detection, and atmospheric distortion correction. Overall, the new approaches generate results that more accurately reflect the underlying signals than less computationally demanding approaches and with lower processing requirements and fewer restrictions than methods with comparable accuracy.

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Date Created
2013