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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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Frequency response characteristics of respiratory flow-meters

Description

Flow measurement has always been one of the most critical processes in many industrial and clinical applications. The dynamic behavior of flow helps to define the state of a process. An industrial example would be that in an aircraft, where

Flow measurement has always been one of the most critical processes in many industrial and clinical applications. The dynamic behavior of flow helps to define the state of a process. An industrial example would be that in an aircraft, where the rate of airflow passing the aircraft is used to determine the speed of the plane. A clinical example would be that the flow of a patient's breath which could help determine the state of the patient's lungs. This project is focused on the flow-meter that are used for airflow measurement in human lungs. In order to do these measurements, resistive-type flow-meters are commonly used in respiratory measurement systems. This method consists of passing the respiratory flow through a fluid resistive component, while measuring the resulting pressure drop, which is linearly related to volumetric flow rate. These types of flow-meters typically have a low frequency response but are adequate for most applications, including spirometry and respiration monitoring. In the case of lung parameter estimation methods, such as the Quick Obstruction Method, it becomes important to have a higher frequency response in the flow-meter so that the high frequency components in the flow are measurable. The following three types of flow-meters were: a. Capillary type b. Screen Pneumotach type c. Square Edge orifice type To measure the frequency response, a sinusoidal flow is generated with a small speaker and passed through the flow-meter that is connected to a large, rigid container. True flow is proportional to the derivative of the pressure inside the container. True flow is then compared with the measured flow, which is proportional to the pressure drop across the flow-meter. In order to do the characterization, two LabVIEW data acquisition programs have been developed, one for transducer calibration, and another one that records flow and pressure data for frequency response testing of the flow-meter. In addition, a model that explains the behavior exhibited by the flow-meter has been proposed and simulated. This model contains a fluid resistor and inductor in series. The final step in this project was to approximate the frequency response data to the developed model expressed as a transfer function.

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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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Date Created
2014

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Generation of macromolecule-templated gold nanoparticles by ionizing radiation

Description

Ionizing radiation, such as gamma rays and X-rays, are becoming more widely used. These high-energy forms of electromagnetic radiation are present in nuclear energy, astrophysics, and the medical field. As more and more people have the opportunity to be exposed

Ionizing radiation, such as gamma rays and X-rays, are becoming more widely used. These high-energy forms of electromagnetic radiation are present in nuclear energy, astrophysics, and the medical field. As more and more people have the opportunity to be exposed to ionizing radiation, the necessity for coming up with simple and quick methods of radiation detection is increasing. In this work, two systems were explored for their ability to simply detect ionizing radiation. Gold nanoparticles were formed via radiolysis of water in the presence of Elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs) and also in the presence of cationic polymers. Gold nanoparticle formation is an indicator of the presence of radiation. The system with ELP was split into two subsystems: those samples including isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and acetone, and those without IPA and acetone. The samples were exposed to certain radiation doses and gold nanoparticles were formed. Gold nanoparticle formation was deemed to have occurred when the sample changed color from light yellow to a red or purple color. Nanoparticle formation was also checked by absorbance measurements. In the cationic polymer system, gold nanoparticles were also formed after exposing the experimental system to certain radiation doses. Unique to the polymer system was the ability of some of the cationic polymers to form gold nanoparticles without the samples being irradiated. Future work to be done on this project is further characterization of the gold nanoparticles formed by both systems.

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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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Applications of Magnetic Resonance Cytography: Assessing Underlying Cytoarchitecture

Description

In medical imaging, a wide variety of methods are used to interrogate structural and physiological differences between soft tissues. One of the most ubiquitous methods in clinical practice is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which has the advantage of limited invasiveness,

In medical imaging, a wide variety of methods are used to interrogate structural and physiological differences between soft tissues. One of the most ubiquitous methods in clinical practice is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which has the advantage of limited invasiveness, soft tissue discrimination, and adequate volumetric resolution. A myriad of advanced MRI methods exists to investigate the microstructural, physiologic and metabolic characteristics of tissue. For example, Dynamic Contrast Enhanced (DCE) and Dynamic Susceptibility Contrast (DSC) MRI non-invasively interrogates the dynamic passage of an exogenously administered MRI contrast agent through tissue to quantify local tracer kinetic properties like blood flow, vascular permeability and tissue compartmental volume fractions. Recently, an improved understanding of the biophysical basis of DSC-MRI signals in brain tumors revealed a new approach to derive multiple quantitative biomarkers that identify intrinsic sub-voxel cellular and vascular microstructure that can be used differentiate tumor sub-types. One of these characteristic biomarkers called Transverse Relaxivity at Tracer Equilibrium (TRATE), utilizes a combination of DCE and DSC techniques to compute a steady-state metric which is particularly sensitive to cell size, density, and packing properties. This work seeks to investigate the sensitivity and potential utility of TRATE in a range of disease states including Glioblastomas, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). The MRC measures of TRATE showed the most promise in mouse models of ALS where TRATE values decreased with disease progression, a finding that correlated with reductions in myofiber size and area, as quantified by immunohistochemistry. In the animal models of cancer and DMD, TRATE results were more inconclusive, due to marked heterogeneity across animals and treatment state. Overall, TRATE seems to be a promising new biomarker but still needs further methodological refinement due to its sensitivity to contrast to noise and further characterization owing to its non-specificity with respect to multiple cellular features (e.g. size, density, heterogeneity) that complicate interpretation.

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Date Created
2018

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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

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Novel injection molding technique for coating soft-siloxanes on neural microelectrodes for stable pO2 sensing using MR imaging

Description

There is a critical need for creating an implantable microscale neural interface that can chronically monitor neural activity and oxygenation. These are key aspects for understating the development of impaired neural circuits and their functions. A technology with such capability

There is a critical need for creating an implantable microscale neural interface that can chronically monitor neural activity and oxygenation. These are key aspects for understating the development of impaired neural circuits and their functions. A technology with such capability would foster new insights in the studies of brain diseases and disorders. The propose is that MR-PISTOL (Proton imaging of Siloxane to Map Tissue Oxygenation Levels) imaging technique can be used for direct measurements of oxygen partial pressure at microelectrode-tissue interface. The strategy consists of coating microelectrodes with soft-silicone, a ultra-soft conductive PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane), as a carrier for liquid siloxanes MR-PISTOL contrast agents. This work presents a proof-of-concept of an injection molding technique for batch fabricate microelectrodes with such coating. Also, reports stability studies of soft-silicone loaded with liquid polydimethylsiloxane (PDMSO) in rodent brains. A batch of thirty coated carbon electrodes was achieved using candy molds. Coating uniformity was evaluated in twelve probes. They were randomly chosen and imaged with a custom image setup that allows 90o rotation of the probes. The total average coating thickness before and after rotation were 0.397 millimeters with standard deviation of 0.070 millimeters and 0.442 millimeters with standard deviation of 0.062 millimeters. Therefore, data confirms that this technique yields uniform coating. Stability of fabricated coated carbon electrodes unloaded (n= 3) and loaded with PDMSO (n= 3) was assessed. 3D X-ray imaging using Zeiss Xradia 520 machine was chosen for studying coatings mechanical stability in ex-vivo rat brain. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) with an energy dispersive x-ray microanalysis (EDS) detector were used to investigate their chemical stability in in vivo mouse brain. Initial EDS analysis from TEM and SEM of acute (6 hours) and chronic (2 weeks) brain slices suggest that PDMSO does not leach into brain. More experiments should be done to confirm and endorse this finding. The mechanical study shows that coating loaded with PDMSO delaminated during insertion. This was not observed with electrodes used in the chemical stability studies. Further experiments need to be done to identify possible causes of mechanical failures.

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2018