The research capabilities of the CMROI are distributed into four distinct divisions called Technology Research and Development cores. The Resource emphasizes clinical translation of its TR&D work and actively collaborates and services ongoing research projects. It provides dissemination of technologies and training in their use, including a state-of-the-art whole-body 7T MRI scanner, optical imaging and hyperpolarized gas imaging systems, and software developed at the CMROI. While each TR&D is semi-autonomous in their individual research goals, extensive collaboration exists between the four groups as well as within the external scientific community.
TR&D 1 – ROTATING FRAME MRI TECHNIQUES, EXCHANGE MEDIATED IMAGING BIOMARKERS
The first TR&D project deals with the development of novel rotating frame MRI techniques for studying the structural, biochemical and metabolic aspects of cartilage, brain, and tumors, with direct application to Arthritis, Alzheimer‛s Disease and cancer.
Principal Investigator: Ravinder Reddy, Ph.D.
The primary objective of TRD1 is to develop and optimize CEST imaging methods to obtain high spatial and temporal resolution and artifact free CEST maps of several important metabolites with amine and hydroxyl exchanging groups. Successful accomplishment of the aims of this TRD will lead to imaging-based biomarkers that are noninvasive and nonradioactive, with high spatial and temporal resolution. These biomarkers will aid in the study of pathologies including neurodegeneration, neuropsychiatric disorders, oncology, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal disease, thereby contributing to a fundamental understand of the disease and improved health care.
TR&D 2 – BRAIN STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION
The second TR&D focuses on the development of quantitative perfusion MRI at ultra high field (7T) scanners, real time fMRI as well as methods for integrating perfusion MRI with optical imaging for the study of stroke and neurodegeneration.
Principal Investigator: John Detre, M.D.
TRD2 focuses on Neuroimaging methods for use in basic and clinical neuroscience. Much of this work concerns the development and application of arterial spin labeled (ASL) perfusion MRI, a method initiated by our Regional Resource(1). ASL provides noninvasive quantification of tissue perfusion (blood flow). In brain, cerebral blood flow (CBF) quantifies cerebrovascular function, but CBF also serves as a means of quantifying neural function more generally through the tight coupling between CBF and regional neural activity (2,3). Over the past project period, TRD2 further developed ASL MRI technologies and applications at 3T and at 7T. Additional neuroimaging technology developed by TRD2 included imaging of myelin and myelin water, susceptibility weighted imaging, and the development of new signal-processing strategies for both functional and structural MRI of the brain. TRD2 also collaborated with TRD1 on metabolic imaging of the brain and with TRD3 on optical monitoring of CBF and metabolism in the brain.
TR&D 3 – OPTICAL IMAGING & MONITORING
The final TR&D develops multi-modal state-of-the-art instrumentation combining optical imaging and MRI, and develops diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) for blood flow monitoring/imaging of diseased tissues in stroke and breast cancer.
Principal Investigator: Prof. Arjun G. Yodh, PhD
The goal of the Optical Imaging & Monitoring Core is to develop advanced diffuse optical instrumentation and methodologies which have value for detection, diagnosis and monitoring of cancer, and for characterization and monitoring of injured brain. These technical developments require interdisciplinary approaches and support the biomedical research community across the nation. The technologies are also particularly attractive for translation to the clinic, because they offer the possibility for non-invasive, rapid, portable and continuous measurements of tissue function at the bedside and in the surgical suite.