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Anatomical imaging

Full body and organ anatomical imaging: T1/T2 weighted imaging.

These multi-slice spin echo images of rat brain with an in-plane resolution of 134µm and a slice thickness of 400 µm show high structural details.


Angiography: Detailed images of vasculature in the head and brain for development, stroke and tumours.

A 3D reconstruction of blood vessels of rat head (at 117 µm) obtained using a flow-compensated 2D FLASH sequence.
These images were obtained without using a contrast agent.



Diffusion Tensor imaging

Diffusion tensor imaging: Diffusion of water molecules in biological tissues can be used to track fibre paths related to brain injury.

Diffusion Weighted-Spin echo in rat brain.
The insert indicates the colour coding of the directional vectors:
Left-right: Red
Up-down: Green
Dorsal-rostral: Blue
Directional variation in the oriented fibres, optical pathways and ventricles can be ascertained.


Fibre Tractography

DTI data can be further processed with specialist software (in this case ExploreDTI ) to reconstruct in 3D any fibre tracts of interest. The image on the right shows a reconstruction of a rat corpus callosum. Once reconstructed the volume of these fibres can be calculated. This approach is useful for the monitoring of damage to fibre tracts due to stroke or disease.






Single voxel spectroscopy: allows detection of the chemical composition of a selected region.

1H-Press spectra in the right hemisphere of a normal rat. Classic major metabloite peaks of Cr+PCr (Creatine and Phosphocreatine), Glut+Glutm (Glutamine and Glutamate), Cho (Choline), and N-Aspartyl Aspartaate (NAA) are present.

Heart Imaging

Triggered heart imaging: Cardiac gating allows image acquisition at different phases of the cardiac cycle. Image sequences can be made into a movie to reveal important structural and functional data.

The images show ECG-triggered CINE-FLASH images of juvenile rat at different parts of cardiac cycle. Left image:Four chamber view, Right image:Short axis view - Tagged.


Functional imaging: Signal changes in the brain due to changing neuronal activity can be measured by BOLD (blood oxygenation level-dependent) contrast.

This image (generated in FSL) shows the activation of a rat brain in response to an amphetamine challenge. The brain is scanned many times in the presence and absence of of stimulation. The resultant images are then aligned and subtracted from each other. A map is then generated of any brain areas that have a significantly different contrast between the active and inactive states (orange areas) which can be overlaid on a higher quality anatomical image to reveal which areas are activated by the stimulus presented to the subject.


Molecular imaging

Tracking labelled cells within a graft or active transport along neuronal pathways.

Embryonic stem cells were lipofected with USPIO's (ultra small particle iron oxide), implanted into a rat brain and their fate tracked with high-resolution 2D MRI(A).

The labelled embryonic stem cells migrate along the corpus callosum to the affected area (C) (Images courtesy of Hoehn et al., MPI for Neurological Research, Cologne, Germany).

3-D imaging

True 3D imaging gives higher through plane resolution and allows image reslicing in any plane.

This multi-view image of a chick embryo shows the same slice of the image in all 3 orientations at 117Ám. The maximum intensity projection reconstruction (bottom right) allows internal structures to be visualised with relation to the external form.





This movie shows a high resolution scan of a new caledonian crow brain.