Innovations within SimBio

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Development of a material database for human tissue properties
The material database containing electrical and mechanical properties of human tissue of individuals is mainly achieved by the application of magnetic resonance strain imaging (MRSI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Both methods basically rely on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and have been developed very recently.

Development of an individual conductivity tensor map using DTI

Multimodal MR-imaging strategies in combination with high level registration and segmentation algorithms and the application of the mathematical homogenisation theory to the voxel-wise measured, anisotropic water diffusion leads to an individual conductivity tensor map of the considered BOI. This map accounts for an exact representation of various tissue types with regard to their specific anisotropic resistance, a prerequisite for modelling in e.g. EEG and MEG (see also Introduction to Biomagnetism). Pathological conditions such as e.g. skull holes and brain lesions like tumours or cerebral ischemia, strongly changing the resistance of the involved head tissues, can now be modelled individually and appropriately. This material modelling is highly innovative compared with today's volume conductor models (e.g based on the boundary element method), where e.g. the head layers brain, skull and skulp can only be assigned constant and isotropic resistance values. This will improve the diagnostic performance of EEG and MEG and will have a large impact not only on basic and clinical research but also on patient outcome in a variety of diseases.

Development of an individual mechanical tissue behaviour map using MRSI

Until now strain imaging techniques have been applied for some isolated 'in vitro' organs (kidneys) only. So we will set-up this technique for the "in-vivo brain", which will provide detailed knowledge of material properties of 'in place' substructures in the brain in general. Furthermore the projected 'advanced in vivo strain imaging' of patients brain will provide most important insights in individual mechanical brain properties and processes for diagnostics and therapy. Development and installation of this method will be a demanding part of the project and at the moment it is unforeseeable which state of realisation will be reachable during the runtime of the project.