Mid-Term Report Summary - INCELL (Exploring brain intracellular space using diffusion-weighted NMR spectroscopy in vivo)
The goal of the INCELL project is to explore, using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy in vivo, the diffusion of brain intracellular metabolites at very different time scales, to probe and quantify cells’ average structural properties at all spatial scales, from intracellular viscosity to cell size. Advanced NMR spectroscopy methods have been developed, already allowing the measurement of metabolites diffusion over an unprecedentedly large time-window, from ~0.2 milliseconds to ~2 seconds. We have also introduced original modeling strategies based on numerical simulations to analyze these new kinds of diffusion data in terms of cell structure, and have given the first proof of concept of the feasibility to extract quantitative information about neurons and astrocytes morphology. The working hypotheses of the project, namely the possibility to interpret the diffusion of intracellular metabolites primarily in terms of cellular structure, and to quantitatively derive relevant structural parameters by adequate modeling of diffusion data at different scales, appear to be valid so far. This is extremely encouraging for the next steps of the project, where investigated methods will be tested in the context of neurodegeneration.
Simone MERGUI, (Responsible for partnership development)
Record Number: 189593 / Last updated on: 2016-10-12