Biophysical modelling of diffusion-weighted MRI (DW-MRI) data can help to gain more insight into brain microstructure. However, models need to be validated.
This work validates a recently-developed technique for non-invasive mapping of brain cell-body (soma) size/density with DW-MRI, by using ultrahigh-field DW-MRI experiments and histology of mouse brain.
Predictions from numerical simulations are experimentally confirmed and brain’s maps of MR-measured soma size/density are shown to correspond very well with histology. We provide differential contrasts between cell layers that are less expressed in tensor analyses, leading to novel complementary contrasts of the brain tissue. Limitations and future research directions are discussed.