Cooperative MRI Unit, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University
Imaging Technology, Center for Information and Neural Networks (CiNet),
Osaka University and NICT
My lab’s main interest is to develop visualization techniques to unveil the functions of integrated biological systems such as neural and immune systems using high field MRI. We have used 7T- & 3T-MRI for humans and an 11.7T-MRI for small animals. Application of innovative imaging technologies for neurosciences as well as other fields is important to understand dynamic biological functions in humans and animals.
Magnetic resonance provides divers information like in this figure. We have tried to visualize biological function precisely by improving magnetic resonance techniques. Several information obtained by MRI could be used simultaneously to evaluate biological functions precisely.
Mice lymphatic vessels could be visualized with contrast reagents. Although the size of mice lymph nodes are a few mm or less than 1 mm, ultra high field MRI could visualize lymphatic nodes without contrast reagents.
Macrophages in mice brains could be visualized and tracked non invasively by ultra high field MRI. Dark spots in this image are labeled macrophages. Our MRI system could detect and track macrophages in mice brains at a single cell level.
Temperatures at human deep regions could be estimated non invasively by MRI . We succeeded in the detection of dynamical temperature changes in human brains.
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) provides information about human brain metabolism non invasively.
Sensitivity and specificity of artificial probes are very important in actual usage. Collaborations to develop new probes are going on.
Noninvasive visualization of dynamic biological systems using MRI
Magnetic resonance provides diverse information about anatomy, function and metabolism in humans and animals. We have been trying to develop high-resolution, non-invasive and repeatable new functional imaging techniques with ultra high-field magnetic resonance scanners.
One of the foci of our researches is noninvasive visualization of crosstalk among neural, immune and endocrine systems. These systems relate with each other closely by direct pathways and/or via humoral factors. This correlation is very important for not only brain function but also psychiatric state, emotion, learning, growth, maturation, immunity, homeostasis, and so on. Noninvasive techniques are desirable to identify the real crosstalk among them because these systems are influenced easily by several experimental maneuvers.
An 11.7 T ultra high-field MR scanner for small animals and a 7.0 T (at CiNet) scanner for humans can provide high resolution and high specific information of biological systems. Our recent progress of MRI technologies in humans can allow us to image human brain temperatures noninvasively and to estimate the dynamical brain energy changes during activations at physiological conditions. In animal studies, we succeeded in the visualization of the dynamical immune responses and the immune cell migrations at a single cell level in situ.
Our Lab. has collaborated with many basic and clinical science researchers due to develop new technologies and due to understand biological phenomena in normal and pathological conditions.
Would you like to visualize the integrated functions of humans and animals anyone could not see?
|Lab. Name||Biofunctional Imaging, Open and Transdisciplinary Research Initiatives, Osaka University|
|Address||B1A5, Center for Information and Neural Networks (CiNet) Building, Osaka University,
Yamadaoka 1-4, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan