Quick Project Snapshot

Super-resolution MRI methods for the Human Brain Connectome

Our group has shown that the technique of diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can be used to obtain an estimate of the macroscopic white matter fibre orientations at each location in the brain, which in turn can be used with a fibre-tracking algorithm to reconstruct a representation of the white matter pathways in the brain. For the case of whole-brain fibre-tracking, several million tracks (also known as streamlines) are generated, thus providing an overall representation of white matter pathways throughout the brain. More recently, we have shown that these data can be used to generate images with resolution higher than the resolution of the acquired data (i.e. to achieve 'super-resolution'), in a technique we called super-resolution track-weighted imaging (TWI). This methodology provides a natural means to combine structural and functional connectivity information into a single image, and therefore can play a major role in the characterisation of the Human Brain Connectome (a comprehensive map of neural connections in the human brain). This PhD project will involve the development of novel methods for the analysis of super-resolution TWI, and their application to Connectomics. Following on the footsteps of the genome, Connectomics (or the study of the ‘connectome’) is a major growing field in neuroscience, with the ultimate aim of developing a comprehensive map of the structural and functional connections in the brain.

 

 

  1. Calamante F, et al. Track-weighted functional connectivity (TW-FC): a tool for characterizing the structural-functional connections in the brain. NeuroImage 70: 199–210 (2013).  
  2. Calamante F, et al. Super-resolution track-density imaging of thalamic substructures: comparison with high-resolution anatomical magnetic resonance imaging at 7.0T. Human Brain Mapping 34:2538–2548 (2013).
  3. Calamante F, et al. A generalised framework for super-resolution track-weighted imaging. NeuroImage 59: 2494-2503 (2012).  
  4. Cho ZH, Calamante F, Chi JG. 7.0 Tesla MRI Brain White Matter Atlas (2nd Edition). Springer-Verlag (2014), Berlin, Germany. ISBN: 978-3-642-54391-3.
  5. Calamante F, et al. Super-resolution track-density imaging studies of mouse brain: comparison to histology. NeuroImage 59: 286-296 (2012).  
  6. Calamante F, et al. Track density imaging (TDI): validation of super-resolution property. NeuroImage 56:1259-1266 (2011).  
  7. Calamante F, et al. Track Density Imaging (TDI): Super-resolution white matter imaging using whole-brain track-density mapping. NeuroImage 53: 1233–1243 (2010).  
  8. Tournier J-D, Calamante F, Connelly A. MRtrix: diffusion tractography in crossing fiber regions. Int. J. Imaging Sys. Techno. 22: 53-66 (2012).

MRI Blood Flow and Brain Connectivity Laboratory

Recent advances in MRI have revolutionised the way we investigate brain structure, brain function, and brain network connectivity. Our lab's main research interests include the development and application of MRI methods to measure cerebral blood flow (Perfusion MRI), super-resolution MRI methods based on diffusion MRI fibre-tracking (Super-Resolution Track-Weighted Imaging), as well as the role of these methods to study brain structural and functional connectivity. 

In particular, we specialise in the development of the two main Perfusion MRI techniques: Dynamic Susceptibility Contrast MRI (DSC-MRI) and Arterial Spin Labelling (ASL). The former is playing a key role in many clinical applications (e.g. stroke, tumours), while the latter provides a powerful quantitative tool to characterise functional connectivity.  

Super-Resolution Track-Weighted Imaging provides a means to exploit the information from whole-brain diffusion MRI fibre-tracking to achieve image resolution not previously possible in the human brain in vivo. This method not only can generate images with exquisite image detail, but also provides a unique framework to combine structural and functional connectivity information, and therefore investigate the structural-function relationships in brain networks. Given that the pathophysiological basis of many brain disorders is related to abnormalities in the structural and/or functional connections, this method is expected to have a major role in clinical neuroscience.

All Projects by this Lab

Perfusion MRI: novel methods to image cerebral blood flow and brain functionSuper-resolution MRI methods for the Human Brain ConnectomeMapping myeloarchitecture using diffusion MRIMRI brain parcellation based on data-driven methodsMapping cerebral haematocrit using MRINovel MRI methods to study dynamic brain connectivity

Imaging

The Florey is a world-leader in neuroimaging development and applied research. Both the Imaging and Epilepsy divisions specialise in advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods development, especially related to diffusion MRI, perfusion MRI, and methods to study brain functional and structural connectivity. Functional MRI (fMRI) and simultaneous fMRI and electroencephalography (fMRI-EEG) methods development and application are also a major priority. Neuroimaging is also a crucial component of several studies undertaken in the Stroke division.

Software Available

All Labs that operate in this Division

Advanced MRI Development GroupImaging and EpilepsyMRI Blood Flow and Brain Connectivity Laboratory