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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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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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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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Date Created
2017

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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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Imaging and Targeting with Optics and Acoustics

Description

This thesis describes the development, characterization, and application of new biomedical technologies developed around the photoacoustic effect. The photoacoustic effect is defined as optical absorption-based generation of ultrasound and provides the foundation for a unique method of imaging and molecular

This thesis describes the development, characterization, and application of new biomedical technologies developed around the photoacoustic effect. The photoacoustic effect is defined as optical absorption-based generation of ultrasound and provides the foundation for a unique method of imaging and molecular detection. The range of applications of the photoacoustic effect have not yet been fully explored. Photoacoustic endoscopy (PAE) has emerged as a minimally invasive tool for imaging internal organs and tissues. One of the main themes of this dissertation involves the first reported dual-intrauterine photoacoustic and ultrasound deep-tissue imaging endoscope. This device was designed to enable physicians at the point-of-care to better elucidate overall gynecological health, by imaging the lining of the human uterus. Intrauterine photoacoustic endoscopy is made possible due to the small diameter of the endoscope (3mm), which allows for complete, 360-degree organ analysis from within the uterine cavity. In certain biomedical applications, however, further minimization is necessary. Sufficiently small diameter endoscopes may allow for the possibility of applying PAE in new areas. To further miniaturize the diameter of our endoscopes, alternative imaging probe designs were investigated. The proposed PAE architecture utilizes a hollow optical waveguide to allow for concentric guiding of both light and sound. This enables imaging depths of up to several millimeters into animal tissue while maintaining an outer diameter of roughly 1mm. In the final focus of this dissertation, these waveguides are further investigated for use in micropipette electrodes, common in the field of single cell electrophysiology. Pulsed light is coupled with these electrodes providing real-time photoacoustic feedback, useful in navigation towards intended targets. Lastly, fluorescence can be generated and collected at the micropipette aperture by utilizing an intra-electrode tapered optical fiber. This allows for a targeted robotic approach to labeled neurons that is independent of microscopy.

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Date Created
2021

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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