MRI Sequence for Macromolecule Characterization of Brain Tissue
The Invention Brain macromolecules can now be detected and identified according to contrasting macromolecular characteristics of the tissues, using this new MRI sequence. The dynamics and rigidity of a host of macromolecules can be identified, including proteins and lipid membranes. In the brain and spinal cord, the new MRI sequence gives an enhanced signal for the white matter - an invaluable tool in the detection of related diseases. The new MRI sequence may also track the amyloid plaques in the brain.
In other body tissues, the new MRI Sequence can also be used to assess blood vessels, joints, tendons, ligaments and cartilage.
The Technological Innovation The new MRI Sequence enables independent control of the effect of the macromolecular composition and spin dynamics, the proton exchange and the water relaxation on the image contrast. This goal is achieved by dividing the measurement into three independent time domains. Each of the above parameters dominates the measured NMR signal in one of the time intervals.
The three time domains are: selection of macromolecules using a double quantum filter, mixing (in which there is magnetization transfer (MT) between macromolecules and water), and a third time period dominated by the water signal that is used for imaging. During the first period the signal is dominated by characteristics of macromolecules, such as molecular weight and rigidity. During the second period the proton exchange and other magnetization transfer mechanisms are the most important processes measured.
The new MRI sequence generates contrast that depends on magnetization that originates from the macromolecule and thus on the macromolecular content of the examined tissues. This offers the possibility of identifying whether the origin of the differences among them is related to characteristics such as: rigidity, number of protons and proton exchange rates with water.
Commercial Applications The Macromolecule Detection MRI sequence is sensitive to the amount of white matter in the brain and spinal cord and can identify the plaques that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s Disease, assisting in the diagnosis.
Implementation The new MRI sequence is a plug-in software “add-on” to the existing MRI hardware, and therefore does not require installation of any additional hardware or training of a technician.
§ Neufeld A, Eliav U. & Navon G. “New MRI Method With Contrast Based on the Macromolecular Characteristics of Tissues” Magnetic Resonance in Medicine vol. 50 pp. 229-234 (2003)
§ U. Eliav and G. Navon, “Multiple Quantum Filtered NMR Studies of the Interaction between Collagen and Water in the Tendon”, J. Amer. Chem. Soc. vol.124 pp 3125-3132 (2002).
Links http://www.tau.ac.il/chemistry/navon/ Patent Pending
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