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Abstract #2304

Mouse Embryo Phenotyping with Contrast-Enhanced Micro-Diffusion Tensor Imaging

Bernard M. Siow*1,2, Jon O. Cleary*1,3, Nicholas D. Greene4, Pankaj Daga3, Marc Modat2, Roger J. Ordidge3, Sebastien Ourselin2, Daniel Alexander2, Mark F. Lythgoe1

1Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging, Department of Medicine and Institute of Child Health, UCL, London, United Kingdom; 2Centre for Medical Image Computing, UCL, London, United Kingdom; 3Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering, UCL, London, United Kingdom; 4Neural Development Unit, Institute of Child Health, UCL, London, * Equal Contribution

Morphological phenotyping of mouse embryos is still heavily reliant on histological sectioning: a destructive process that is time-consuming and operator dependent. Diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI) is a powerful technique that can explore tissue structure non-invasively, providing microstructural information such as the direction of tissue fibres. We have developed a Gd-DTPA contrast-enhanced protocol for whole-body DTI of mid-gestation embryos, comparing embryo preparation, pulse sequences and resolution. This protocol has been applied to wild-type and splotch mouse model of spina bifida embryos at 15.5 dpc. We have shown that whole-body DTI is able to delineate a number of anatomical brain regions that are not apparent on T1 weighted MRI images.