Internal gradient distributions: A susceptibility-derived tensor delivering morphologies by magnetic resonance | Scientific Reports
Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Noam Shemesh & Lucio Frydman
Scientific Reports 7, 3311 (2017)
Nuclear magnetic resonance is a powerful tool for probing the structures of chemical and biological systems. Combined with field gradients it leads to NMR imaging (MRI), a widespread tool in non-invasive examinations. Sensitivity usually limits MRI’s spatial resolution to tens of micrometers, but other sources of information like those delivered by constrained diffusion processes, enable one extract morphological information down to micron and sub-micron scales. We report here on a new method that also exploits diffusion – isotropic or anisotropic– to sense morphological parameters in the nm-mm range, based on distributions of susceptibility-induced magnetic field gradients. A theoretical framework is developed to define this source of information, leading to the proposition of internal gradient-distribution tensors. Gradient-based spin-echo sequences are designed to measure these new observables. These methods can be used to map orientations even when dealing with unconstrained diffusion, as is here demonstrated with studies of structured systems, including tissues.
Noam Shemesh, Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Lucio Frydman
Published: July 21, 2015
Objects making up complex porous systems in Nature usually span a range of sizes. These size distributions play fundamental roles in defining the physicochemical, biophysical and physiological properties of a wide variety of systems – ranging from advanced catalytic materials to Central Nervous System diseases. Accurate and noninvasive measurements of size distributions in opaque, three-dimensional objects, have thus remained long-standing and important challenges. Herein we describe how a recently introduced diffusion-based magnetic resonance methodology, Non-Uniform-Oscillating-Gradient-Spin-Echo(NOGSE), can determine such distributions noninvasively. The method relies on its ability to probe confining lengths with a (length)^6 parametric sensitivity, in a constant-time, constant-number-of-gradients fashion; combined, these attributes provide sufficient sensitivity for characterizing the underlying distributions in μm-scaled cellular systems. Theoretical derivations and simulations are presented to verify NOGSE’s ability to faithfully reconstruct size distributions through suitable modeling of their distribution parameters. Experiments in yeast cell suspensions – where the ground truth can be determined from ancillary microscopy – corroborate these trends experimentally. Finally, by appending to the NOGSE protocol an imaging acquisition, novel MRI maps of cellular size distributions were collected from a mouse brain. The ensuing micro-architectural contrasts successfully delineated distinctive hallmark anatomical sub-structures, in both white matter and gray matter tissues, in a non-invasive manner. Such findings highlight NOGSE’s potential for characterizing aberrations in cellular size distributions upon disease, or during normal processes such as development.
Editor: Ichio Aoki, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, JAPAN
Received: November 25, 2014; Accepted: June 24, 2015; Published: July 21, 2015
Copyright: © 2015 Shemesh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited