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Brain imaging and activation using MRI and magnetic particles

Yu, Yichao; (2018) Brain imaging and activation using MRI and magnetic particles. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

In recent years, a wave of technologies that seek to probe neural structure and function with reduced disturbance to the integrity of the system have emerged, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and optogenetics, both of which enable researchers to investigate the brain while preserving its intactness to an unprecedented extent. This thesis presents a series of studies along these two lines, including MRI brain phenotyping and the development of a novel brain stimulation technique. Firstly, high-resolution MRI was combined with advanced image analysis techniques to examine how pathology impacts the volume of brain regions. The aim was to develop a high-throughput screen for neuroanatomical abnormalities in mouse models. A protocol optimised for fixed brains and improved to allow simultaneous scan of multiple samples was applied to two disease models and an injury model. In the first disease model, brain structural changes associated with adenosine deaminase deficiency were identified, and these findings were consistent with previous anecdotal observations in human patients. The latter two studies, however, were hampered by artefacts and therefore inconclusive. Next, a technology allowing remote stimulation of brain cells using a magnetic field was developed. It was demonstrated that the mechanosensitive astrocytes, when decorated with iron oxide particles, could be stimulated upon the application of a magnetic field both in vitro and in vivo. While targeted astroglial stimulation was achieved in tissue cultures, further work is needed to investigate the specificity of the in vivo manipulations. These brain imaging and activation technologies show promise as useful tools for studying a whole, comparatively less compromised brain: the MRI technique could enable brain structural changes in disease and injury models to be identified with relative ease, and the remote control technology could allow astroglial function to be studied in a minimally invasive fashion.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Brain imaging and activation using MRI and magnetic particles
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2018. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Department of Imaging
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10064542
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