Fasciculus Axonal Connective Tissue (FACT) Mapping of Porcine Optic Nerve for Accurate Connectome Mapping at Viable Cost
Sudhir Kumar Pathak1, Yijen L Wu2,3, Vijay Saradhi Gorantla4, Fatih Zor4, Yalcin Kulahci4, Alan Watson5, Yongxin Zhao6, and Walter Schneider1,7
1Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, 2Rangos Research Center Animal Imaging Core, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, 3Developmental Biology, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, 4Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, United States, 5Department of Cell Biology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, 6Department of Biological Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, 7Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh, 15260, PA, United States
Accurate brain connectome mapping requires tracking fasciculus bundles of axons within tracts. In a porcine optic nerve harvested tissue, we optimized/tested MRI structural and diffusion imaging to demonstrate following fasciculi within the optic tract. On a 7T Bruker magnet, we can clearly identify fasciculus boarders and diffusion paths providing 29 micron precision MRI with clear tissue differentiation. We found that axons travel with no evidence of crossing fasciculi walls. This suggests Fasciculus Axonal Connective Tissue (FACT) imaging can provide full mapping of connectivity between cortical sources supporting comprehensive accurate mapping of connectivity in large mammal tract systems at viable cost.
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