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PIONEER- Research project

oPtImal cOntrol magNetic resonance Elastography : application to livEr with hemochRomatosis



Determination of mechanical properties of tissues is useful when creating numerical models of the human body but they also have a diagnostic value since they are correlated to the development of a pathology. Rheology which is the most widespread technique used is applied on small ex vivo samples limiting patient acceptability and its usefulness since in vivo values can differ and the results are only valid locally whereas certain pathologies present focal developments instead of diffuse ones. Elastography techniques through imaging have thus emerged and enable measuring mechanical properties of whole organs/tissues. Its application generating a shear wave inside the tissue of interest, imaging its propagation and reconstructing the mechanical properties through inversion techniques. Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE) has been proposed for an implementation on MR scanners and is best known for the staging of human liver fibrosis. Transposing this technique on animal models (murine) would be useful for longitudinal follow up and better understanding of physiopathological mechanisms involved in the development of liver pathologies. However the technical implementation of MRE on preclinical MR scanners is challenging in terms of image acquisitions and mechanical setup required for generating shear waves in mice liver. This project will tackle the development of the required instrumentation on a 7T Bruker preclinical MR scanner. This will enable longitudinal studies of the liver during the evolution of hemochromatosis. This pathology induces a reduction of T2 values in the liver which leads to failure of MRE examinations due to a rapid signal loss. The MAGICS team of CREATIS has developed a unique know-how in terms of implementation of MRE in the case of short T2 values through optimal control. The combination of optimal control MRE in an in vivo application of murine liver represents the final goal of this project.