Projects on the Scanner

MRI of a Knee Arrows point out the patellar tendon, the main focus here.

Patellar Tendon Health: Diabetes

PI: Chad Carroll
MRI Operator(s): Shiv Patel
Introduction: The long-term goal of Dr. Carroll’s research is to contribute to the development of effective treatments for tendon problems. Tendon complaints are one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders. This places a large burden on the United States healthcare system. Painful tendinopathies reduce the quality of life of afflicted individuals and limit their ability to complete activities of daily living. Little in-vivo data exist to aid in the treatment or prevention of painful tendinopathies. Our lab is interested in filling these knowledge gaps. Additionally, we wish to better understand the mechanisms regulating tendon adaptations to exercise, particularly in the elderly. Our laboratory utilizes the Purdue Life Science MRI facility to address our in-vivo research questions.
MRI Spectrum of the Human Brain, two sequence comparison. Spectra displayed of the human brain aid in detailed metabolic comparison.

Manganese Toxicity in Welders

PI: Ulrike Dydak
Operators: Humberto, Mahsa, Sandy Snyder

Introduction: The inhalation of the metal manganese (Mn) in welding fumes puts thousands of welders at risk
of Mn toxicity, which results in mood changes, cognitive deficits and eventually motor
symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease. Our group is following a local cohort of welders since
2013 to study the dynamics of deposition of Mn in the brain via MRI, resulting changes in
neurochemistry via MRS, as well as correlations with cognitive and motor function, mood,
exposure metrics and more.
Attentional Strengths and GABAergic Function in Children with Autism Top left:Single voxel GABA MRS voxel in the visual cortex; top middle: A typical GABA-edited spectrum; top right: visual stimuli for the subjects. Bottom: A Novel 3D Multi-Voxel MRS Investigation of Autism using MEGA-LASER

Attention Strengths and GABAergic Function in Children with Autism

PI: Brandon Keehn, Ulrike Dydak
Operators: Xiaopeng Zhou
Introduction: Superior performance on certain visual-spatial tasks by individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been of continued interest to researchers as it may provide insight into how those with ASD perceive the world around them.  Importantly, these strengths (versus weaknesses) may be more likely to develop from a distinct source and may be easily traced back to their origin within the brain. Results from studies of typically developing individuals have show that inter-individual differences in attention and perception are associated with region-specific concentrations of GABA.  The aim of the current study is to determine the role of GABA in enhanced visual search abilities in children with ASD.   
Multimodal neuroimaging of reward processing

Parsing the Stages of Reward Processing using Multimodal Neuroimaging

PI: Dan Foti 
Operators: Xiaopeng Zhou

Introduction: The brain's reward network is well-characterized, yet the time course of activity within this network during reward processing is poorly understood. This is critical insofar as reward processing dynamically unfolds across a series of functionally distinct stages, including: initial cue detection, motivated approach behavior, anticipation of outcome, and outcome evaluation. In this project, we will use a multimodal approach to characterize reward dynamics in a fine-grained manner, leveraging the spatial precision of fMRI and the temporal precision of event-related potentials (ERPs).

Using BOLD fMRI signal to understand the origin of physiological low frequency oscillations

Understanding the Origin of Physiological Low Frequency Oscillations in BOLD fMRI Signal

PI: Yunjie Tong 

Introduction: Blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal is the main contrast in fMRI to study brain function, however, there are physiological low frequency oscillations in BOLD with unknown origins. These low frequency oscillations are the confounding signals to the neuronal fluctuations. In this project, we will apply Real Time Phase-Contrast MRI to study the origins of these low frequency oscillations. We will target different blood vessels, from arteries to veins, to understand the dynamics of these nuisance signals and how they affect the neuronal fluctuation throughout the brain.


MRI of a pig brain.

Development of a Swine Model to Evaluate Radiation-Induced Brain Injury: A Preliminary Report

PI: Carlos Perez-Torres
Operators: Whitney Diep Perez
Introduction: Radiation-induced brain injury (RIBI) is an irreversible and progressive long-term effect of radiation therapy. Current pre-clinical experiments use mouse models, which do not accurately replicate the pathology as seen in humans. We chose to simulate RIBI within a swine model because its brain structures are more comparable to human brain structures. Our preliminary findings show similar resemblances to the pathologies seen in human patients affected by RIBI.
Proton Density Fat Fraction imaging of the calf area.

Musculoskeletal fat imaging and quantification by high-resolution metabolite cycling magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging at 3 T: A fast method to generate separate distribution maps of lipid components

PI: Uzay Emir

Operators: Ahmad Alhulail, Pingyu Xia, Deb Patterson

Introduction: Current lipid evaluation techniques (Dixon and Single Voxel Spectroscopy) are unable to evaluate individual lipids or take too long. Biopsies provide this data, but are invasive. Therefore, there is a need for a reliable and fast non-invasive in vivo quantification method that is capable of providing the spatial distribution for each lipid of interest within a short scan time. In this work, we demonstrate a high-resolution, density-weighted concentric ring trajectory (DW-CRT) metabolite cycling (MC) MRSI acquisition technique to provide the needed fat quantification technique. The DW-CRT k-space-filling technique allows results of higher resolution within a shorter scan time. In addition, by implementing the MC acquisition technique, simultaneous out phased upfield and downfield (relative to the water frequency) spectra can be provided from a single acquisition. These spectra can be then used to reconstruct separate metabolites and water only spectra. By using this advantage, the water signal information can be used as an internal reference to calculate the FF voxel-wise in a similar approach used by the Dixon method, but for each lipid component individually based on their amplitude and unique resonance frequency. A second objective is to investigate the regional distribution of each lipid component over the calf muscles in an adolescent populatio


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