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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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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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Validation of Transcranial Electrical Stimulation (TES) Finite Element Modeling Against MREIT Current Density Imaging in Human Subjects

Description

Transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) is a non-invasive brain stimulation therapy that has shown potential in improving motor, physiological and cognitive functions in healthy and diseased population. Typical tES procedures involve application of weak current (< 2 mA) to the brain

Transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) is a non-invasive brain stimulation therapy that has shown potential in improving motor, physiological and cognitive functions in healthy and diseased population. Typical tES procedures involve application of weak current (< 2 mA) to the brain via a pair of large electrodes placed on the scalp. While the therapeutic benefits of tES are promising, the efficacy of tES treatments is limited by the knowledge of how current travels in the brain. It has been assumed that the current density and electric fields are the largest, and thus have the most effect, in brain structures nearby the electrodes. Recent studies using finite element modeling (FEM) have suggested that current patterns in the brain are diffuse and not concentrated in any particular brain structure. Although current flow modeling is useful means of informing tES target optimization, few studies have validated tES FEM models against experimental measurements. MREIT-CDI can be used to recover magnetic flux density caused by current flow in a conducting object. This dissertation reports the first comparisons between experimental data from in-vivo human MREIT-CDI during tES and results from tES FEM using head models derived from the same subjects. First, tES FEM pipelines were verified by confirming FEM predictions agreed with analytic results at the mesh sizes used and that a sufficiently large head extent was modeled to approximate results on human subjects. Second, models were used to predict magnetic flux density, and predicted and MREIT-CDI results were compared to validate and refine modeling outcomes. Finally, models were used to investigate inter-subject variability and biological side effects reported by tES subjects. The study demonstrated good agreements in patterns between magnetic flux distributions from experimental and simulation data. However, the discrepancy in scales between simulation and experimental data suggested that tissue conductivities typically used in tES FEM might be incorrect, and thus performing in-vivo conductivity measurements in humans is desirable. Overall, in-vivo MREIT-CDI in human heads has been established as a validation tool for tES predictions and to study the underlying mechanisms of tES therapies.

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2017