Clinical Areas

The National Institute of Child Health and Development recently launched the Human Placenta Project, a nationwide collaborative research effort to study the placenta and its effects on both the mother and the fetus. At the University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Examining Placenta Oxygenation Perfusion and Size (EXPLORE) team (PIs Nadav Schwartz and Daniel Licht) consists of clinicians and imaging scientists working to assess how in vivo development of the placenta can impact management of maternal nutrition. Our role is to develop flow and perfusion imaging techniques of the placenta using phase contrast (i.e. 4D flow) and arterial spin labeling MRI approaches. Check out our previous work on 4D flow in the heart.

Ischemic heart disease is an enormous health and economic burden and the most common cause of death throughout the world. A devastating manifestation is acute myocardial infarction (MI) which results in myocardial loss and precipitates a cascade of events including myocardial scarring, adverse left ventricular (LV) remodeling, heart failure and death. Reperfusion injury is a frequent complication, and these patients have a greater risk of adverse tissue remodeling and cardiac function. While late gadolinium enhanced (LGE) MRI can detect myocardial fibrosis, there is significant interest in non-gadolinium contrast or endogenous contrast methods to spatially map infarcted tissue, detect recent ischemic injury and edema, or assess injury in patients with insufficient renal function who cannot receive contrast agents. Our team is developing non-invasive imaging and spectroscopic methods for myocardial infarction and reperfusion injury.