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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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Ultrahigh Field Functional Magnetic Resonance Electrical Impedance Tomography (fMREIT) in Neural Activity Imaging

Description

A direct Magnetic Resonance (MR)-based neural activity mapping technique with high spatial and temporal resolution may accelerate studies of brain functional organization.

The most widely used technique for brain functional imaging is functional Magnetic Resonance Image (fMRI). The spatial resolution

A direct Magnetic Resonance (MR)-based neural activity mapping technique with high spatial and temporal resolution may accelerate studies of brain functional organization.

The most widely used technique for brain functional imaging is functional Magnetic Resonance Image (fMRI). The spatial resolution of fMRI is high. However, fMRI signals are highly influenced by the vasculature in each voxel and can be affected by capillary orientation and vessel size. Functional MRI analysis may, therefore, produce misleading results when voxels are nearby large vessels. Another problem in fMRI is that hemodynamic responses are slower than the neuronal activity. Therefore, temporal resolution is limited in fMRI. Furthermore, the correlation between neural activity and the hemodynamic response is not fully understood. fMRI can only be considered an indirect method of functional brain imaging.

Another MR-based method of functional brain mapping is neuronal current magnetic resonance imaging (ncMRI), which has been studied over several years. However, the amplitude of these neuronal current signals is an order of magnitude smaller than the physiological noise. Works on ncMRI include simulation, phantom experiments, and studies in tissue including isolated ganglia, optic nerves, and human brains. However, ncMRI development has been hampered due to the extremely small signal amplitude, as well as the presence of confounding signals from hemodynamic changes and other physiological noise.

Magnetic Resonance Electrical Impedance Tomography (MREIT) methods could have the potential for the detection of neuronal activity. In this technique, small external currents are applied to a body during MR scans. This current flow produces a magnetic field as well as an electric field. The altered magnetic flux density along the main magnetic field direction caused by this current flow can be obtained from phase images. When there is neural activity, the conductivity of the neural cell membrane changes and the current paths around the neurons change consequently. Neural spiking activity during external current injection, therefore, causes differential phase accumulation in MR data. Statistical analysis methods can be used to identify neuronal-current-induced magnetic field changes.

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Date Created
2019

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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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Date Created
2018