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Siniša Škokić (right) with Dr. Dirk Wiedermann (left) and a cherry tomato (middle).
In the background: the inside of the tomato as seen by a MRI scanner.
 

 

  One of the cornerstones of the GlowBrain project is magnetic resonance imaging. This non-invasive imaging technique makes it possible to observe subtle changes in soft tissues in living organisms with an unprecedented spatial resolution, allowing to monitor tumor development, track stem cells, look closely at spinal cord injuries and so on.
The imaging is done with an ultra-high field animal MRI scanner, a machine requiring a mere 30 kW of power and about as complex as the underlying solid state physics. To be able to successfully run scans with it in various possible scenarios, years of experience are necessary. Within GlowBrain, we hope to close that gap much more quickly thanks to our partners of Max Planck Institute for Neurological Imaging in Cologne (MPI), who have generously accepted to train our team members and pass onto them as much of their vast experience as possible within three planned specialization terms. Working with our engineer Siniša Škokić will be Dr. Dirk Wiedermann, who has installed and run over 5 different MRI systems at MPI and is currently their lab manager. In order to avoid accidents and other misfortunate events (for the animals), the first part of the training will involve anything but mice. Not to dispair, a suitable candidate came to mind instantly - a cherry tomato! With its complex interior and just about the same size as a mouse, it fits the role perfectly and will allow for weeks of MRI fun. If you ever wondered into how many slices one can cut up a tomato, well, with the MRI the answer is, so far, at least 192!

 Check out the photo gallery here!

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