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7 Tesla Multinuclear MRI

Gaining Additional Insights via MR Imaging of Further Nuclei besides Hydrogen

Besides conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), where the magnetization of 1H nuclei is measured, other atomic nuclei with spin I > 0 can be used for signal detection. These nuclei are called X-nuclei. In our department we are developing hardware as well as acquisition, reconstruction and post-processing methods to acquire in-vivo MR signals of sodium (23Na), potassium (39K), chloride (35Cl), oxygen (17O), magnesium (25Mg), phosphorus (31P) and carbon (13C). Investigations of these nuclei are of special interest in clinical research because of their crucial role in many cellular processes. For instance, 23Na, 39K, and 35Cl concentrations strongly depend on the physiologic condition of a cell. And 17O MRI can be used to directly access the oxygen consumption non-invasively.

a) Quantitative 23Na MRI in torso (coronal view). b) Reduced 17O signal increase after inhalation in a glioma (delineated region).

Research Topics

  • Exploring new and improving existing multinuclear imaging hardware, pulse sequences, reconstruction and post-processing methods
  • Determination of ion concentrations, e.g. [23Na+], [39K+], [35Cl-]
  • Assessment of cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen consumption via 17O MRI
  • Clinical translation of imaging techniques developed in the group

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