Authors: Christopher Najjoum
Faculty Mentor: Malisa Sarntinoranont
College: Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering
Brain parenchyma does not possess lymphatic vessels, however, the brain is one of the most metabolically active organs in the human body. Instead of a lymphatic vessel network, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) is involved in transporting molecules throughout the brain. In the fields of Alzheimer’s disease and sleep, studies show interest in small interstitial fluid spaces around blood vessels called perivascular space (PVS) that contributes to waste clearance and drug delivery. The goal of this research was to visualize the PVS flow patterns through large interstitial fluid spaces that are connected to the PVS called ventricles. Previous work observed the PVS through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) by injecting tracer into the ventricles of five different rat brains. Using the MRIs that were taken from earlier research, the goal was accomplished by segmenting/removing the ventricles from the PVS to create anatomical maps which were input into computational fluid dynamics models to predict physiological flow patterns.
Hi Christopher- cool project! How did you create your segmentation? I have a similar project so just wondered software you’ve encountered along the way and what has worked best for your specific project!
The segmentation program I used was ITK-Snap. It is a free biomedical segmentation program that creates an active contouring threshold in three dimensions. It is the fastest and most accurate software I have used thus far. The automatic segmentation tool in ITK-Snap was the snake tool. Hope this helps!
Great job! Did you work with any rats or was this only your lab members? Do you plan to continue research/ this project after your graduate?
I did not work with the rats during my research. I was only involved with the MRIs. As of right now I plan on continuing my research throughout my graduate year starting in Fall 2020.
Hey Chris! I really liked how your project blends scientific research and engineering! Where does the CSF flow to after it leaves the perivascular space?
The CSF that flows out from the PVS is reabsorbed into the blood stream from the arachnoid villi.