Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is one of the most important imaging modalities in medical diagnostics. MRI was first developed and implemented independently by P. Mansfield  and P. Lauterbur in 1973. Today MRI is highly developed affording image resolutions on the order of 0.1 mm in human subjects and in the micrometer range in small objects, such as fixed specimens or single cells. In particular parallel acquisition strategies have reduced the minimum scan time and allow for acquisition of complete images in less than 30 msec, which makes real time visualisation of tissue movements feasible. For a large number of pathologies complete scan protocols are available for clinicians to use MRI in a black box manner for diagnosis of disease. We are working on the refinement of existing and develoment of novel MR methods to improve biomedical diagnostics and open new analytical options. The major modalities we employ are:
  • Cellular / molecular MRI
    • bacteria tracking
    • SPIO-labelled macrophage / T cells
    • 19F MRI
    • Heteronuclear proton MRI
  • Neuroimaging
    • functional MRI
      • BOLD fMRI
      • BOLD fMRI + Ca2 recordings
      • BOLD fMRI + optogenetics: ofMRI
    • in vivo MR spectroscopy
    • DTI
  • PET-MR
  • parametric MRI: relaxation time mapping, vessel size imaging,...
We apply MR to detect and characterize pathologies and changes in morphology, physiology or metabolism in the full range of development and disease related degenerative as well as regenerative processes. Our major interest inbclude:
  • Neural networks in the brain
    • structural and functional organization of neuronal networks
    • pain processing
    • huntingtons' disease
  • Infection and inflammation imaging
    • bacterial infections
    • immune cell tracking
The following Figure illustrates how the different modalities (blueish colors) are employed for different biomedical topics (greenish colors). Vice versa, for each biomedical topic a number of modalities may be used for our investigations.