Research Training Group 2154 - Materials for Brain

Project 10: Eva Peschke

Structural and functional imaging of neuroimplants

The goal of the RTG 2154 is to develop new implants for the brain to treat chronic brain diseases, e.g. stents for the treatment of aneurysms (P2), and drug delivery systems (P3) for the treatment of Glioblastoma (P8) and Epilepsy (P9).
After insertion of an implant, close monitoring is needed to evaluate its function and the influence on the neighboring tissue. The monitoring is even more important for newly developed implants. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a suitable technique for this purpose because MRI provides a good contrast for the soft tissue in the body. Further, MRI is a non-invasive imaging technique without exposing patients to ionizing radiation and can therefore be used for follow-up examinations.
However, implants can cause imaging artifacts in MRI and also could harm the surrounding tissue. The implants increase the inhomogeneity of the magnetic field, which result in imaging artifacts, because the implants have different values for the magnetic susceptibility, compared to tissue. The artifacts are also dependent on e.g. implant material, size and orientation in the magnetic field of the MRI. Further, during the MRI measurements implants can heat up due to the absorption of transmitted radio waves and could result in burnt tissue. Also, the strong magnetic field has the potential to dislocate an implant.
The goal of this project is to address these issues. This includes the tasks to ensure the safety of the developed implants and to minimize the imaging artifacts. Therefore, in vitro experiments will be carried out to investigate and analyze the implant artifacts in order to minimize them. Additionally, the goal is to ensure that the implants do not harm surrounding tissue and can be used in vivo. Finally, imaging artifacts occurring in in vivo measurements also have to be minimized.

E. Peschke