[Comp-neuro] Direct Neuronal Imaging, Micro Electrode Recordings and MEG - Scientific Collaboration

Antonio.Cassara at roma1.infn.it Antonio.Cassara at roma1.infn.it
Wed Oct 12 15:02:08 CEST 2011

The Centro Studi e Ricerche "Enrico Fermi" in Roma (IT) is
since many year involved on a very challenging project
about the feasibility of the direct detection of neuronal currents using
NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) at Larmor fields on the order of the
earth magnetic field (50uT).
This technique, named Direct Neuronal Imaging or DNI, would be a new
potential functional imaging modality of the brain, and will be based on
the direct measurement of the ultra-weak magnetic fields induced by the
neuronal currents around neurons by looking at ultra-weak changes in NMR
signal properties.

This technique is currently being investigated by means of theoretical
works and a long series of phantom experiments conducted in collaboration
with the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Berlin
and different other partners.

In order to have an better idea what is the project about, interested
people could have a look on these most recent publications about this topic.

1) Höfner N, Albrecht HH, Cassará AM, Curio G, Hartwig S, Haueisen J,
Hilschenz I, Körber R, Martens S, Scheer HJ, Voigt J, Trahms L, Burghoff
M. Are brain currents detectable by means of low-field NMR? A phantom
study. Magn Reson Imaging. 2011 Sep 8. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID:

2) Cassará AM, Maraviglia B, Hartwig S, Trahms L, Burghoff M. Neuronal
current detection with low-field magnetic resonance: simulations and
methods. Magn Reson Imaging. 2009 Oct;27(8):1131-9. Epub 2009 Mar 9.
Review. PubMed PMID:19269766.

3) Cassarà AM, Maraviglia B. Microscopic investigation of the resonant
mechanism for the implementation of nc-MRI at ultra-low field MRI.
Neuroimage. 2008 Jul 15;41(4):1228-41. Epub 2008 Apr 8. PubMed PMID:

4) Cassarà AM, Hagberg GE, Bianciardi M, Migliore M, Maraviglia B.
Realistic simulations of neuronal activity: a contribution to the debate
on direct detection of neuronal currents by MRI. Neuroimage. 2008 Jan
1;39(1):87-106. Epub 2007 Sep 7. PubMed PMID: 17936018.

To the aim of  testing and calibrating a new NMR instrumentation for new
specific measurements of the neuronal currents, we would be interested on
starting a scientific collaboration and an active debate
with some groups experienced in Micro Electrode Recording of human brain.
Data coming from invasive recordings are an essential ingredient for our
comprehension of the neuronal activity and for understanding the kind of
online processing MEG data useful for the experiments.

We would be interested on using previously recorded MER data for
simulations and in order to achieve new additional information about the
timing and the electromagnetic structure of the neuronal currents
in the microscopic scale.

People interested on collaborations, are invited to contact  Dr. Antonino
Mario Cassara'.

Antonino Mario Cassara'
email: antonio.cassara at ptb.de

Best Regards,

Dr. Antonino M. Cassara'

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