Research Emphasis


    Our research emphasis over the last ten years has been the application of high field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) to biomedical problems. The utilization of high magnetic fields beyond 11 T provides the sensitivity and specificity to interrogate a range of specimens, from biological solutions to single cells and bioengineered constructs to in vivo animals. Furthermore, high magnetic fields open new areas of study involving non-proton nuclei, novel contrast agents and unique contrast mechanisms that can be brought to bear upon biomedical applications. Since establishment of the laboratory group at The Florida State University in 2006, this emphasis has been focused along two intersecting lines of research: 

1) the fabrication and optimization of tools for high field MRI application & 2) the utilization of those tools for the evaluation of biological tissues and cellular engineered constructs in the study of neurological and muscular degeneration. 

    These objectives are part of a concerted effort to track the progression of degenerative processes both in acute and chronic phases and to utilize novel MRI techniques to evaluate potential time-specific treatments that can be instituted during identified therapeutic windows. Reflecting the nature of biomedical engineering, this effort is intensively collaborative and brings together a team of basic scientists, engineers and clinicians.

    Research Area & Interests

    • MR microscopy & localized spectroscopy of single cells, embryos & biological fluids 
    • Analysis of diffusion & compartmentalization in neuronal tissues & model systems 
    • MR contrast mechanisms and agents at high magnetic field strengths 
    • Fabrication & application of RF microcoil probes and unique multi-frequency, multi-coil designs to high field MR imaging & spectroscopy
    • Biomarkers of neuro- & muscular degeneration related to aging & movement disorders
    • Study of pervasive neurodegeneration related to movement disorders (e.g. Parkinson's disease & parkinsonism) and cognitive decline (e.g. Alzheimer's disease) with high field magnetic resonance imaging
    • Exogenous & endogenous stem tracking in acute & chronic neurodegeneration
     
    23Na/1H double-tuned 500-micron ID RF microcoil for single cell imaging
     
    23Na rat head images
    acquired at 21.1 T

    MRI In The News