5 September 2014 In vivo confirmation of hydration based contrast mechanisms for terahertz medical imaging using MRI
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Terahertz (THz) detection has been proposed and applied to a variety of medical imaging applications in view of its unrivaled hydration profiling capabilities. Variations in tissue dielectric function have been demonstrated at THz frequencies to generate high contrast imagery of tissue, however, the source of image contrast remains to be verified using a modality with a comparable sensing scheme. To investigate the primary contrast mechanism, a pilot comparison study was performed in a burn wound rat model, widely known to create detectable gradients in tissue hydration through both injured and surrounding tissue. Parallel T2 weighted multi slice multi echo (T2w MSME) 7T Magnetic Resonance (MR) scans and THz surface reflectance maps were acquired of a full thickness skin burn in a rat model over a 5 hour time period. A comparison of uninjured and injured regions in the full thickness burn demonstrates a 3-fold increase in average T2 relaxation times and a 15% increase in average THz reflectivity, respectively. These results support the sensitivity and specificity of MRI for measuring in vivo burn tissue water content and the use of this modality to verify and understand the hydration sensing capabilities of THz imaging for acute assessments of the onset and evolution of diseases that affect the skin. A starting point for more sophisticated in vivo studies, this preliminary analysis may be used in the future to explore how and to what extent the release of unbound water affects imaging contrast in THz burn sensing.
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Neha Bajwa, Neha Bajwa, Shijun Sung, Shijun Sung, James Garritano, James Garritano, Bryan Nowroozi, Bryan Nowroozi, Priyamvada Tewari, Priyamvada Tewari, Daniel B. Ennis, Daniel B. Ennis, Jeffery Alger, Jeffery Alger, Warren Grundfest, Warren Grundfest, Zachary Taylor, Zachary Taylor, } "In vivo confirmation of hydration based contrast mechanisms for terahertz medical imaging using MRI", Proc. SPIE 9199, Terahertz Emitters, Receivers, and Applications V, 91990U (5 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2060115; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2060115

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