Water diffusion is an optimal tool for investigating the architecture of brain tissue on which modern medical diagnostic imaging techniques rely. However, intrinsic tissue heterogeneity causes systematic deviations from pure free-water diffusion behaviour. To date, numerous theoretical and empirical approaches have been proposed to explain the non-Gaussian profile of this process. The aim of this work is to shed light on the physics piloting water diffusion in brain tissue at the micrometre-to-atomic scale. Combined diffusion magnetic resonance imaging and first pioneering neutron scattering experiments on bovine brain tissue have been performed in order to probe diffusion distances up to macromolecular separation. The coexistence of free-like and confined water populations in brain tissue extracted from a bovine right hemisphere has been revealed at the micrometre and atomic scale. The results are relevant for improving the modelling of the physics driving intra- and extracellular water diffusion in brain, with evident benefit for the diffusion magnetic resonance imaging technique, nowadays widely used to diagnose, at the micrometre scale, brain diseases such as ischemia and tumours.
|Numero di pagine||10|
|Rivista||Journal of the Royal Society Interface|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2019|
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