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Abstract #0013

Possible Contribution of the Extracellular Matrix to the MRI Contrast in the Brain

Riccardo Metere 1 , Markus Morawski 2 , Henrik Marschner 1 , Carsten Jger 2 , Tobias Streubel 1 , Stefan Geyer 1 , Katja Reimann 1 , Andreas Schfer 1 , and Harald E. Mller 1

1 Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany, 2 Paul-Flechsig-Institute for Brain Research, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

The tissue composition of the brain can be related to different contrast sources in quantitative MRI imaging. Particularly, myelin and iron are considered to be the major source of MRI contrast, with strong correlation to T 1 and T 2 * , respectively. However, other components, and particularly the relatively abundant extracellular matrix, may play a role in the generation of MRI contrast. In this work we present preliminary experiments showing a contrast change in quantitative relaxation maps of a brain tissue sample before and after the digestion of the extracellular matrix, thus supporting the hypothesis that this componet contributes to MRI contrast.

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