Navigation Links
New MRI method fingerprints tissues and diseases

A new method of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could routinely spot specific cancers, multiple sclerosis, heart disease and other maladies early, when they're most treatable, researchers at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center suggest in the journal Nature.

Each body tissue and disease has a unique fingerprint that can be used to quickly diagnose problems, the scientists say.

By using new MRI technologies to scan for different physical properties simultaneously, the team differentiated white matter from gray matter from cerebrospinal fluid in the brain in about 12 seconds, with the promise of doing this much faster in the near future.

The technology has the potential to make an MRI scan standard procedure in annual check-ups, the authors believe. A full-body scan lasting just minutes would provide far more information and require no radiologist to interpret the data, making diagnostics cheap, compared to today's scans, they contend.

"The overall goal is to specifically identify individual tissues and diseases, to hopefully see things and quantify things before they become a problem," said Mark Griswold, a radiology professor at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and UH Case Medical Center. "But to try to get there, we've had to give up everything we knew about the MRI and start over."

Griswold has been working on this goal with Case Western Reserve's Vikas Gulani, MD, an assistant professor of radiology, and Nicole Seiberlich, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, for a decade. During the last three years, they developed the technology and proved the concept with graduate student Dan Ma; Kecheng Liu, PhD, collaborations manager from Siemens Medical Solutions Inc.; Jeffrey L. Sunshine, MD, professor of radiology and a radiologist at UH Case Medical Center; and Jeffrey L. Duerk, dean of Case School of Engineering and professor of biomedical engineering.

A magnetic resonance imager uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio waves to create images of the body's tissues and structures. Magnetic resonance fingerprinting, MRF for short, can obtain much more information with each measurement than a traditional MRI.

Griswold likens the difference in technologies to a pair of choirs.

"In the traditional MRI, everyone is singing the same song and you can tell who is singing louder, who is off-pitch, who is singing softer," he said. "But that's about it."

The louder, softer and off-pitch singing is represented by dark, light or bright spots in the scan that a radiologist must interpret. For example, an MRI would show swelling as a bright area in an image. But brightness doesn't necessarily equate with severity or cause.

"With an MRF," Griswold said, "we hope that with one step we can tell the severity and exactly what's happening in that area."

The fingerprint of each tissue, each disease and each material inside the body is therefore a different song. In an MRF, each member of the choir sings a different song simultaneously, Griswold said. "What it sounds like in total is a randomized mess."

The researchers generate unique songs by simultaneously varying different parts of the input electromagnetic fields that probe the tissues. These variations make the received signal sensitive to four physical properties that vary from tissue to tissue. These differencesthe different notes and lyrics of their songsbecome evident when applying pattern recognition programs using the same math in facial recognition software.

The patterns are then charted. Instead of looking at relative measurements from an image, Griswold said quantitative estimates told one tissue from another. As the technology progresses, these results will determine whether tissue is healthy or diseased, how badly and by what.

The scientists believe that they will be able to interrogate a total of eight or nine physical properties which will allow them to elicit the songs from a vast array of tissues, diseases and materials.

For a patient, an MRF would seem like a quick MRI. When the scan is done, all of the patient's songs would be compared with the songbook, which will provide doctors with a suite of diagnostic information.

"If colon cancer is 'Happy Birthday' and we don't hear 'Happy Birthday,' the patient doesn't have colon cancer," Griswold said.

Other researchers have tried to use multiple parameters in MRI's, but this group was able to scan fast and with higher sensitivity than in previous attempts, he continued. "This research gives us hope. We can see that it's possible the MRI can see all sorts of things."

The group expects to reduce scanning time and continue to build the songbook, or library of fingerprints, over the next few years.


Contact: Kevin Mayhood
Case Western Reserve University

Related biology technology :

1. Rigaku Publishes Analysis Method for P, S and Cl in Bio-diesel and Bio-ethanol Using Primini Biofuel WDXRF
2. New spectroscopy method could lead to better optical devices
3. Elsevier Announces the Launch of a New Journal: Methods in Oceanography
4. Rigaku Publishes EDXRF Method for Iron in Ore Materials
5. Rigaku Announces Method for Quantitative Elemental Analysis of Low-Alloy Steel with the Rigaku ZSX Primus III+ WDXRF Spectrometer
6. University of Colorado Cancer Center Study Shows the Preferred Feeding Method is not the Medically Best in Malnourished Pediatric Cancer Patients
7. Rigaku publishes new WDXRF Application: Determination of Metals in Copper Concentrate by Advanced Correction Method for Fused Beads
8. Unusual Method on How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Without Pesticides Has Been Released To The Public, Explains
9. Rigku Publishes New Method for Quantitative Analysis of Cast Iron Using the ZSX Primus III+
10. Rigaku Publishes method for Determination of Sulfur in Bio-gasoline
11. Kitware to Develop Novel Neuroimage Processing Methods for Traumatic Brain Injury
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global software ... events in five states to develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve health ... state are competing for votes to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 SHPG ) announced today that ... Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference in New ... 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> SHPG ) ... participate in the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference ... December 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Tikcro Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: TIKRF) today announced ... 29, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Israel time, at ... 98 Yigal Allon Street, 36 th Floor, Tel Aviv, ... Eric Paneth and Izhak Tamir to the Board of ... as external directors; , approval of an amendment to certain terms ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  Twist Bioscience, a company ... Leproust, Ph.D., Twist Bioscience chief executive officer, will ... on December 1, 2015 at 3:10 p.m. Eastern ... City. --> --> ... Twist Bioscience is on Twitter. Sign up to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/17/2015)...  Vigilant Solutions announces today that Mr. Dick ... --> --> Mr. ... partnership at TPG Capital, one of the largest global ... in revenue.  He founded and led TPG,s Operating Group, ... from 1997 to 2013.  In his first role, he ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... Nov. 12, 2015  A golden retriever that stayed ... dystrophy (DMD) has provided a new lead for treating ... the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the ... . Cell, pinpoints a protective ... the disease,s effects. The Boston Children,s lab of ...
(Date:11/11/2015)... --  MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical technology company ... to announce that it will be a Sponsor of the ... be held November 17-19 in Hamburg , ... iMedNet , MedNet,s easy-to-use, proven and affordable ... been able to deliver time and cost savings of up ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):