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Improving the Realism and Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Multicellular Tumor Spheroids

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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

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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)

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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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2013-05

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

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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