The MRM group supports clinical researchers methodologically in the application of MR-imaging (MRI) and MR-spectroscopy (MRS). Supported mainly by research funding (SNF, EU), our group is using MRI and MRS primarily in prospective studies and combines methodological development with applications to study physiology and pathology in situ. Two major projects aim at investigations of human brain physiology and microstructure including the development of multi-parametric MR methods and synergistic post-processing tools that are also transferable to other organs. This includes optimization of quantification methods for non-abundant metabolites using proton and other nuclei (e.g. using deuterated agents). Microstructure is probed with diffusion-weighted spectroscopy and elastography. For quantification and quality improvement, we explore machine learning methods. Besides the brain, ectopic lipids in muscle, liver and the heart as well as glucose metabolism and exchange processes are central in the application of these methods. Renal function is investigated by multi-modal MRS and MRI employing several functional MR methods, such as diffusion weighted imaging, arterial spin labeling, and oxygen dependent MRI. Recently, the non-invasive investigation of potassium homeostasis in muscle, liver or kidney became feasible with the advent of the ultra-high field MR Scanner in the TIC. High-Resolution Magic Angle Spinning NMR (HR-MAS) can be applied to semi-solid materials including biological tissues, e.g., from biopsies, or cell cultures, which under static conditions yield only poorly resolved NMR spectra. Besides targeted assays, it provides an ideal tool also for metabolomics. In addition, it offers an excellent opportunity to compare non-invasive findings e.g., from in vivo MRS with well-characterized tissue samples by HR-MAS.
Development of MR spectroscopy and MR imaging methods
Brain microstructure and metabolism
Muscle, liver, and heart metabolism
Kidney function and metabolism
High-resolution-magic-angle-spinning NMR (HR-MAS) and Metabolomics