Microscopic diffusion anisotropy imaging

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Cell and Developmental Biology


The microstructure of brain tissue is critical to neural function and health. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive technique for the assessment of microstructural features and therefore offers untapped potential to study both brain development and neurodevelopmental disorders in preclinical setting and living humans. The aim of this project is to pioneer advanced MRI techniques enabling to monitor the microscopic progression of nervous tissue structure in vivo. Specifically, we will exploit the diffusion process of water molecules as a fingerprint to recover tissue microstructure using the latest MRI technology, computational modelling and machine-learning methods.


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M009513/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1902617 Studentship BB/M009513/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021 Noemi Gyori
Description A new in-vivo imaging technique was developed based on diffusion MRI, which facilitates sensitivity to microscopic tissue structures that have spherical geometry (such as cell bodies) as well as cylindrical geometry (such as axons and dendrites). This technique was designed for grey matter in the brain and a proof-of-concept study was performed on healthy adult volunteers.
Exploitation Route This imaging technique could be beneficial in several neurodevelopment and neurodegenerative diseases that disrupt cellular morphology in brain tissue, and in particular in grey matter. These include lesions in focal cortical dysplasia, as well as neuronal loss in Huntington's disease. If the developed imaging technique is sensitive to changes in these conditions, it may improve the diagnosis and characterisation of these conditions.
Sectors Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology