Improvement of Novel Imaging Technologies to Study Anatomical and Pathological Morphology

example_visual

Example of visual of the combined imaging methods (CT, terahertz)

ancient_mummified

Ancient Egyptian artificially mummified human hand, ca. 1500 - 1300 BC.

a) THz, b) X-ray, c) CT, d) MR, e) photo (Öhrström et al; Anatomical Record, 2015)

Project Leaders

  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Frank Rühli; Institute of Evolutionary Medicine; University of Zurich

  • Prof. Dr. Michael Bock; Medical Physics; Department of Radiology; University Medical Center Freiburg

  • Dr. Ute Ludwig, Medical Physics; Department of Radiology; University Medical Center Freiburg

  • Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Martin Koch, Departement of Physicy, Philipps-Universität Marburg

Funding

Summary

Improvement of Novel Imaging Technologies to Study Anatomical and Pathological Morphology in Ancient Human Remains: Terahertz Imaging and Spectroscopy and Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Ancient remains are very rare, thus any non-destructive depiction and characterization of these objects is desirable to preserve them for future generations. This joint research project aims at developing novel MR imaging strategies and novel hardware for optimizing the Terahertz Imaging and Spectroscopy systems for investigations of such samples. The following research objectives will be addressed in more detail to improve the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of tissue discrimination in ancient mummies: Objective 1: In the context of Evolutionary Medicine, can the evolution of pathologies and anatomical variations (e.g. prevalence of soft tissue variants) been assessed by MRI and THz Imaging? Objective 2: What is the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of MRI versus CT of specific pathological changes such as atherosclerotic lesions, intervertebral disc protrusion or degenerative cartilage damage? Objective 3: Can we further study morphological consequences of mummification such as dehydration effects on tissues and post mortem alterations? Objective 4: Can be embalming materials such as agglomerates of dried liquids, or crystallized salts in ancient Egyptian mummies further analyzed non-destructively by techniques such as MRI or Terahertz Spectroscopy? Objective 5: Is the spatial resolution high enough to select specific target positions for biopsies (for further histological or molecular analyses, such as DNA analyses) so that minimal damage is imposed on the valuable ancient remains?

Link to the SNSF P3 Database

Published articles

  • Öhrström L., Fischer B., Bitzer A., Wallauer J., Walther M., Rühli F., Terahertz imaging modalities of ancient Egyptian mummified objects and a naturally mummified rat. Anatomical Record, Special Issue on Mummies, June 2015; Volume 298, Issue 6, Pages 1135–1143.
  • Öhrström L., Bitzer A, Walther M, Rühli F J. Technical note: Terahertz imaging of ancient mummies and bone. Am J Phys Anthropol . 2010; 142(3):497-500.
  • Özen AC, Ludwig U, Öhrström L, Rühli FJ, Bock M. Comparison of ultrashort  echo time sequences for MRI of an ancient mummified human hand. Magn Reson Med.  2016 Feb;75(2):701-8. doi: 10.1002/mrm.25651.
  • Tesfai, A., Fischer, J., Özen, A. and Bock, M., Comparison of Different RF Coil Designs for Short T2* Samples, In Proceedings of the 25th annual meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Honolulu, USA.
  • Fischer, F., Özen, A., Kurzhunov, D., Reisert, M., Tesfai, A., Rühli, F., Ludwig, U. and Bock, M., Cross-Modality MR Image Reconstruction: CT-Constrained Anisotropic Diffusion to Preserve Edge Information in MRI of an Ancient Mummified Hand, In Proceedings of the 25th annual meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Honolulu, USA.