Date and time
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MIT 24-121 and Zoom
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Design, construction, and validation of Magnetic Particle Imaging systems for rodent, primate, and human functional neuroimaging

Non-invasive neuroimaging techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), caused a paradigm shift in the way neuroscientists study the brain. With these techniques, different levels of brain function can be safely localized in humans, allowing the study of human cognition and its disruption during disease. However, due to the sensitivity limitations of the existing methods, identifying brain function differences in disease states often requires averaging across large cohorts (up to 100s of subjects) to discern significant differences. Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI) is a new imaging modality that may overcome this sensitivity limitation due to its very strong signal strength paired with an elimination of biological background signals and associated biological nuisance fluctuations (noise). Previously, MPI instrumentation had not been developed at the human scale for functional neuroimaging. The goals of this thesis are to demonstrate the feasibility of MPI at this scale. First, the general principles of MPI design are discussed, then construction of a functional neuroimaging rodent scanner and validation with functional timeseries showing up to 6x the sensitivity of 9.4T MRI. Finally, the human-scale MPI system design, construction and results are presented with an analysis of its sensitivity. MPI, with its unprecedented sensitivity, might enable new directions in neuroimaging and allow diagnostic functional neuroimaging in a variety of diseases.

Thesis Supervisor:
Lawrence Wald, PhD
Professor, Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Thesis Committee Chair:
Elfar Adalsteinsson, PhD
Eaton-Peabody Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT; Professor, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, MIT

Thesis Readers:
Bruce Rosen, MD, PhD
Laurence Lamson Robbins Professor of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, HMS; Director, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging

David Perreault, PhD
Ford Foundation Professor of Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Topic: Eli Mattingly Thesis Defense
Time: Tuesday, September 26, 2023, 2:15 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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