The neurophysics group uses biophysical modelling and magnetic resonance imaging to develop techniques to study the structure of the brain on a micrometer scale, i.e. its microstructure. Our work enables subtle changes in microstructure of the living brain to be visualized noninvasively, with applications both in health and disease.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a fast, high resolution and very versatile modality to visualize tissue integrity and function, especially well-suited in living tissue due to its noninvasiveness. Various types of MRI have been shown to be quite sensitive changes in tissue structure, but it suffers from a lack of specificity. A central goal of our efforts is to improve the specificity using biophysical modeling. We employ knowledge of e.g. magnetic resonance physics and statistical physics to build biophysical models predicting the MRI signal from various sequences, in particular diffusion weighted MRI. By comparing (e.g. fitting) to high quality MRI data, this approach enables highly specific tissue parameters to be estimated.