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Abstract #5031

Formalin fixation significantly changes cell membrane permeability in cortical brain tissue

Ruiliang Bai1, Xihui Ju1, and Peter J Basser2

1Interdisciplinary Institute of Neuroscience and Technology, Qiushi Academy For Advanced Studies, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, 2Section on Quantitative Imaging and Tissue Sciences, DIBGI, NICHD, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, United States

Ex vivo, formalin-fixed biological tissue sample are often used to validate MRI methods for in vivo applications. However, since fixation may alter the chemical and physical properties of tissue, including the cell membrane permeability, it is important to know how and whether fixation changes in water microdynamics and potentially affects MRI signals. In this work, we studied the transmembrane water exchange kinetics in live rat brain cortical tissue in vitro, and following formalin fixation. We found that the fixation process can significantly increase the transmembrane water exchange kinetics by increasing the cell membrane permeability to water.

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