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Joe Ackerman

Washington University in St. Louis
Remarkable Findings by MRI: Water Motion in Living Systems Reveals Tissue Microstructure
The incoherent displacement motion of water in living systems is impeded by the presence of innumerable boundaries and hindrances that comprise the complex microstructure of cells and tissues. The magnetic resonance imaging experiment can be made sensitive to the microscopic displacements of water. Image contrast is then dependent upon tissue architecture at the micron and sub-micron level, a scale far smaller than the actual image resolution (~1 mm). Diffusion MRI provides a remarkable window on tissue structure and changes therein in response to injury and pathology, e.g., cancer, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and brain development. Examples of this technology, including MRI studies with single cells, small animal models, and humans, will be discussed.
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