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Effects of temperature and aldehyde fixation on tissue water diffusion properties, studied in an erythrocyte ghost tissue model

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Peter Thelwall


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Ex vivo biological sample imaging can complement in vivo MRI studies. Since ex vivo studies are typically performed at room temperature, and samples are frequently preserved by fixation, it is important to understand how environmental and chemical changes dictated by ex vivo studies alter the physical and MR properties of a sample. Diffusion and relaxation time measurements were used to assess the effects of temperature change and aldehyde fixation on the biophysical and MR properties of a model biological tissue comprised of erythrocyte ghosts suspended in buffer or agarose gel. Sample temperature was varied between 10 degrees C and 37 degrees C. Diffusion MRI data were analyzed with a biophysically appropriate two-compartment exchange model. Temperature change resulted in a complex alteration of water diffusion properties due to the compartmental nature of tissues and alteration in membrane permeability. Formaldehyde, Karnovsky's solution, and glutaraldehyde all caused statistically significant changes to the biophysical and MR properties of the samples. Fixation caused large decreases in water proton T-2, which was restored to near prefixation values by washing free fixative from the samples. Water membrane permeability was also significantly altered by fixation. This study demonstrates that relating in vivo MR data to chemically fixed ex vivo data requires an understanding of the effects of sample preparation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Thelwall PE, Shepherd TM, Stanisz GJ, Blackband SJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Magnetic Resonance in Medicine

Year: 2006

Volume: 56

Issue: 2

Pages: 282-289

ISSN (print): 0740-3194

ISSN (electronic): 1522-2594

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


DOI: 10.1002/mrm.20962


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