New imaging tech offers incredibly detailed 3D videos of pulsating brains
A new imaging technique has been developed offering incredibly detailed 3D videos of a human brain. The technique offers unprecedented perspectives on the pulsating motions of a brain, delivering clinicians a new diagnostic tool and researchers novel insights into neurological disorders.
Back in 2016 an innovative imaging technique was introduced called amplified magnetic resonance imaging (aMRI). The technique allowed researchers and clinicians to see the pulsating motions of the brain in real-time, giving insights into the biochemical responses of brain tissue.
Initially only offering 2D visualizations, researchers have now improved the technique to offer impressive 3D animations. This presents clinicians with a detailed picture of brain motion in three dimensions for the very first time.
"The new method magnifies microscopic rhythmic pulsations of the brain as the heart beats to allow the visualization of minute piston-like movements, that are less than the width of a human hair," explains Itamer Terem, a Stanford University student working on the project. "The new 3D version provides a larger magnification factor, which gives us better visibility of brain motion, and better accuracy."
The new 3D aMRI technique delivers unrivaled spatial resolution, allowing visualization of motion in the brain at an unprecedented level of detail that promises benefits to both researchers and clinicians.
"We are using 3D aMRI to see if we can find new insights into the effect of mild traumatic brain injury on the brain,” explains Samantha Holdsworth, a New Zealand researcher who worked on the original 2D aMRI technology. "One study already underway, a collaboration between Mātai and the University of Auckland, uses 3D aMRI together with brain modelling methods to see whether we can develop a non-invasive way of measuring brain pressure, which may in some cases remove the need for brain surgery.”
Miriam Scadeng, another researcher who helped develop this new technology, says 3D aMRI will allow the creation of entirely new kinds of brain motion models. The novel insights into how fluid is driven around the brain will help further research on a variety of brain disorders.
"This fascinating new visualization method could help us understand what drives the flow of fluid in and around the brain,” says Scadeng. “It will allow us to develop new models of how the brain functions, that will guide us in how to maintain brain health and restore it in disease or disorder."
Source: Stevens Institute of Technology