The goal of this project is to establish the foundations for the next generation diagnostic magnetic resonance for in-vivo studies of biochemical processes. Magnetic resonance, unlike other techniques, probes in a non-invasive manner the local structure and dynamics of chemical and biological function. Many systems (e.g. organisms) are however heterogeneous and, currently, studies by high-resolution NMR spectroscopy necessitate fast sample rotation (thousands of revolutions per second) at the so-called “magic angle” with the magnetic field. Practical, scientific and ethical issues are raised when we extrapolate this technique to small animals or even to living cell cultures.We aim to push the technology of magnetic resonance to the next level by introducing rotating magnetic fields around static samples. Rotating magnets capable of offering ultra high-resolution NMR and MRI will be built and used to acquire metabolic signatures from living organisms at cellular and macroscopic level of observation. This interdisciplinary project aims at developing frontier concepts in magnetic resonance and gathering state-of-the-art approaches in the areas of bioengineering, magnetism, magnetic resonance microscopy and spectroscopy to place them at the service of medicine and biochemistry.Our strategy consists of forming a new, independent and perennial research team, of 3 researchers, 1 technician, 2 post-docs and 2 PhDs. The concept, fabrication and evaluation of a prototype magnet will occur within the first three years, and applications to cell cultures and small animals are envisaged until the end of the 5 years. Spectroscopic MRI in rotating fields has never been investigated and will produce new methodological and instrumentation advances. The outcome will be groundbreaking since for the first time localized metabolism will be studied in living organisms. This research will therefore open new avenues to non-invasive monitoring biomedical tools for diagnosis and prevention.
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