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Multidimensional Microstructure Imaging

Our research

We make images of the tissue microstructure using the MRI scanner. This could enable better diagnosis by detecting subtle changes in the organization of tissue at an early stage of the disease.

The approach is based on diffusion MRI (dMRI), where water molecules probe tissue microstructure. Conventional dMRI yields metrics such as mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy, regarded as imaging biomarkers of cell density and orientation coherence.

However, these metrics conflates multiple measures of the microstructure, which warrants approaches with higher microstructure specificity. Our group work on developing a set of technologies for the acquisition and analysis of dMRI that we refer to as multidimensional microstructure imaging (MMI).

MMI utilizes custom gradient waveforms for encoding the diffusional motion. This enables a higher level of specificity. As degenerative disorders modify the microstructure of the tissue, our MMI is expected to be a useful tool for the detection of even minor changes.

Aims

  • Develop new imaging methods that provide imaging biomarkers sensitive to the tissue microstructure.
  • Validate the imaging biomarkers on technical, biological, and clinical levels.
  • Disseminate the methods for clinical research.
  • Apply the new imaging methods in clinical populations.

Impact

As MRI is a non-invasive tool, we hope to enable early diagnosis and better monitoring of disorders that affect the microstructure of brain tissue.

How our research contributes to the goals of MultiPark

 By developing new imaging biomarkers, we hope to enable early and differential diagnostics and prognostics of brain disorders. Further, we aim to improve non-invasive methodologies for quantitative monitoring of neurological disorders that affects the brain tissue. Our research addresses the aim of MultiPark's working group 6. 


Research Team & Publications

Read about publications and research team members of the Multidimensional Microstructure Imaging in the LU Research Portal. 

Outreach

Watch the talk "A spin thro’ the history of restricted diffusion MR" at the conference at Cardiff University where Markus Nilssons research methods are explained. 

Profile Photo of Markus Nilsson.

Markus Nilsson

Associate professor

markus [dot] nilsson [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Link to Markus Nilsson's profile in the LU Research Portal

Twitter: @m_nilsson