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Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine

Invited researcher Bendahan David
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In recent years, the scientific research in the field of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging, one of the most important non-invasive medical imaging methods) has been focused on the development of quantitative methods aimed the search for biomarkers for the early diagnostics and the assessment of the activity of diseases as well as of the efficiency of therapeutic strategies. In spite of the interest and promising prospects, these quantitative methods are not widely implemented in daily clinical practice, perhaps, due to the limitations of the internation between physicists and medical professionals who work on problems of magnetic resonance.

Name of the project: Advanced quantitative technologies in magnetic resonance imaging for the detection of the stages of inflammation and fibrosis as markers of diseases.

Strategy for Scientific and Technological Development Priority Level: в

Goals and objectives

To achieve the goals of the project, the following tasks have been set for the team:

  1. To develop new radio-frequency coils (RF coils) and substrates based on materials with high dielectric permeability and «artificial» materials with special electromagnetic properties for the improvement of the signal-to-noise ratio, the resolution of images, the homogeneity of the magnetic field in the area of interest, as well as the RF safety;
  2. To develop special quantitative MRI methods and protocols for the early detection and control of inflammation and fibrosis in specific organs;
  3. To develop post-processing methods on the basis of deep learning for the collection of quantitative metrics magnetic resonance images;
  4. To research specific biomarkers for the assessment of the activity of diseases and the determination of the efficiency of therapeutic strategies.

The practical value of the study

Projected research results: 

  1. The main result: the improvement of the diagnostic potential of clinical MRI to increase the quality and the accessibility of medical assistance in Russian healthcare institutions;
  2. RF coils based on materials with high dielectric permeability and «artificial» materials for the improvement of the signal-to-noise ratio, the resolution of images of specific organs and tissues, as well as the RF safety of magnetic resonance assessment;
  3. Neutral substrates for the control of the electromagnetic field distribution inside a magnetic resonance imaging device for the improvement of the homogeneity of the RF magnetic field in specific organs;
  4. Special methods of quantitative MRI based on T1 and T2 mapping and diffusion-weighted imaging for the assessment of fibrosis and inflammation using clinical tomography devices;
  5. A method for the early detection of liver fibrosis related to iron deposition relying on relaxation time mapping;
  6. The enhancement of pre-operative planning and the elevation of the efficiency of therapeutic procedures via enhanced clinical MRI of the heart with automatic segmentation of myocardial fibrosis in the atria and the ventricles;
  7. A method for the assessment of the loss of   cartilaginous tissue in the context of manifestations rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis in the radiocarpal joints on the basis of the measurement of the volume of the cartilage using a 3D convolutional neural network;
  8. Enhanced diagnostic criteria for the assessment of myocardial inflammation using additional quantitative mapping methods during diagnostics;
  9. A clinical proof of the performance capability of the whole series of MR-based methods over collections of patients selected by doctors.

The creation of a research centre for magnetic resonance in medicine will ensure an influx of knowledge in the field of quantitative MR imaging: new methods of data collection and new methods of its subsequent processing which will be used for the solution of relevant clinical problems set by medical professionals comprising the team. A wide range of such problematic pathologies (which includes, for example, myocarditis, sarcoidosis, post-ischemic processes, rheumatoid arthritis, liver hemochromatosis) is related to histological processes of inflammation and fibrosis that were selected as research objects for the diagnostics and monitoring of these and other diseases. Thus, at the core of the project lays the development of specialised methods for the collection and quantitative processing of MR data for the diagnostics and monitoring of disorders that are accompanied by the two above-mentioned processes.

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