Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Atomic diffusion


BACKGROUND: Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is increasingly used in various diseases as a clinical tool for assessing the integrity of the brain’s white matter. Reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) and an increased apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) are nonspecific findings in most pathological processes affecting the brain’s parenchyma. At present, there is no gold standard for validating diffusion measures, which are dependent on the scanning protocols, methods of the softwares and observers. Therefore, the normal variation and repeatability effects on commonly-derived measures should be carefully examined. METHODS: Thirty healthy volunteers (mean age 37.8 years, SD 11.4) underwent DTI of the brain with 3T MRI. Region-of-interest (ROI) -based measurements were calculated at eleven anatomical locations in the pyramidal tracts, corpus callosum and frontobasal area. Two ROI-based methods, the circular method (CM) and the freehand method (FM), were compared. Both methods were also compared by performing measurements on a DTI phantom. The intra- and inter-observer variability (coefficient of variation, or CV%) and repeatability (intra-class correlation coefficient, or ICC) were assessed for FA and ADC values obtained using both ROI methods. RESULTS: The mean FA values for all of the regions were 0.663 with the CM and 0.621 with the FM. For both methods, the FA was highest in the splenium of the corpus callosum. The mean ADC value was 0.727 x10-3 mm2/s with the CM and 0.747 x10-3 mm2/s with the FM, and both methods found the ADC to be lowest in the corona radiata. The CV percentages of the derived measures were < 13% with the CM and < 10% with the FM. In most of the regions, the ICCs were excellent or moderate for both methods. With the CM, the highest ICC for FA was in the posterior limb of the internal capsule (0.90), and with the FM, it was in the corona radiata (0.86). For ADC, the highest ICC was found in the genu of the corpus callosum (0.93) with the CM and in the uncinate fasciculus (0.92) with FM. CONCLUSIONS: With both ROI-based methods variability was low and repeatability was moderate. The circular method gave higher repeatability, but variation was slightly lower using the freehand method. The circular method can be recommended for the posterior limb of the internal capsule and splenium of the corpus callosum, and the freehand method for the corona radiata.

Concepts: Brain, Neuroimaging, Magnetic resonance imaging, Cerebrum, Diffusion, Diffusion MRI, Corpus callosum, Atomic diffusion


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is often exacerbated by events that lead to secondary brain injury, and represent potentially modifiable causes of mortality and morbidity. Diffusion tensor imaging was used to characterize tissue at-risk in a group of 35 patients scanned at a median of 50 hours after injury. Injury progression was assessed in a subset of 16 patients with two scans. All contusions within the first few days of injury showed a core of restricted diffusion, surrounded by an area of raised apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC). In addition to these two well-defined regions, a thinner rim of reduced ADC was observed surrounding the region of increased ADC in 91% of patients scanned within the first 3 days after injury. In patients who underwent serial imaging, the rim of ADC hypointensity was subsumed into the high ADC region as the contusion enlarged. Overall contusion enlargement tended to be more frequent with early lesions, but its extent was unrelated to the time of initial imaging, initial contusion size, or the presence of hemostatic abnormalities. This rim of hypointensity may characterize a region of microvascular failure resulting in cytotoxic edema, and may represent a ‘traumatic penumbra’ which may be rescued by effective therapy.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 20 February 2013; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2013.11.

Concepts: Traumatic brain injury, Magnetic resonance imaging, Diffusion, Diffusion MRI, Atomic diffusion, Imaging, Cerebral blood flow, Cerebral contusion


Thermal field-flow fractionation (ThFFF) is an interesting alternative to column-based fractionation being able to address different molecular parameters including size and composition. Until today it has not been shown to be able to fractionate polymers of similar molar masses and chemical compositions by molecular topology. The present study demonstrates that poly(butyl methacrylates) with identical molar masses can be fractionated by ThFFF according to the topology of the butyl group. The influence of the solvent polarity on the thermal diffusion behavior of these polymers is presented and it is shown to have a significant influence on the fractionation of poly(n-butyl methacrylate) and poly(t-butyl methacrylate). Fractionation improves with increasing solvent polarity and solvent polarity may have a greater influence on fractionation than solvent viscosity. It is found that the thermal diffusion coefficient, DT , as well as the hydrodynamic diameter, Dh , exhibit increasing trends with increasing solvent polarity. The solvent quality has a significant influence on the fractionation. It is found that cyclohexane, being a theta solvent for poly(t-butyl methacrylate) but not for poly(n-butyl methacrylate), significantly improves the fractionation of the samples by decreasing the diffusion rate of the former but not the latter.

Concepts: Function, Molecular diffusion, Diffusion, Transport phenomena, Convection, Solvent, Atomic diffusion, Mole


Inter-molecular multiple quantum coherence (iMQC) has important applications in NMR and MRI. However, the current theoretical methods still have some difficulties in analyzing the behavior of iMQC signal attenuation of pulsed field gradient diffusion experiments. In this paper, the iMQC diffusion experiments were analyzed by an effective phase shift diffusion equation (EPSDE) method, which is based on the idea that the accumulating phase shift (APS) can be viewed as the result of a diffusion process in virtual phase space (VPS) with effective diffusion coefficient K(2)(t) D (rad(2)/s) where K(t)=∫0 (t)γg(t(‘))dt(’) is a wavenumber and D is the physical diffusion coefficient of the spin carrier in the real space. The term K(ttot) z1 needs to be added to the APS when K(ttot) is not zero. Most of the time, K(ttot) equals zero. However, in iMQC experiments, the condition K(ttot) equaling zero or being non-zero for each spin depends on the gradient pulse setting. The signal attenuations of these two types of iMQC, zero or non-zero K(ttot), were analyzed in detail for free and restricted diffusions, which shows that there are significant differences between these two types of iMQC. Particularly, if an apparent diffusion coefficient Dapp is used to analyze the signal attenuation, it equals nD for zero K(ttot) which agrees with current theoretical and experimental reports, while for non-zero K(ttot), it equals (2n - 1) D which agrees with experimental results from the literature; there are no similar theoretical results reported for comparison. The result that Dapp equals (2n - 1) D is important because the higher value of Dapp means that non-zero K(ttot) iMQC can potentially provide more contrast and measure slower diffusion rates than zero K(ttot) iMQC. The EPSDE method provides a new way to analyze iMQC diffusion experiments.

Concepts: Nuclear magnetic resonance, Diffusion, Experiment, Phase, Atomic diffusion, Attenuation, Effective diffusion coefficient, Mass diffusivity


To investigate the contribution of preoperative apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values in the differential diagnosis of pediatric posterior fossa tumors.

Concepts: Medical terms, Medical diagnosis, Diffusion, Vector space, Atomic diffusion, Differential diagnosis


To assess the relationship between diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM)-derived quantitative parameters (apparent diffusion coefficient [ADC], perfusion fraction [f], Dslow , diffusion coefficient [D], and Dfast , pseudodiffusion coefficient [D*]) and histopathology in pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAC).

Concepts: Diffusion, Diffusion MRI, Atomic diffusion


To determine whether apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) value is predictive of survival after definitive chemoradiation for cervical cancer independent of established imaging and clinical prognostic factors.

Concepts: Human papillomavirus, Brain tumor, Nuclear magnetic resonance, Magnetic resonance imaging, Diffusion, Diffusion MRI, Endometrial cancer, Atomic diffusion


Biorhythm is a fundamental property of human physiology. Changes in the extracellular space induced by cell swelling in response to the neural activity enable the in vivo characterization of cerebral microstructure by measuring the water diffusivity using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). To study the diurnal microstructural alterations of human brain, fifteen right-handed healthy adult subjects were recruited for DTI studies in two repeated sessions (8∶30 AM and 8∶30 PM) within a 24-hour interval. Fractional anisotropy (FA), apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), axial (λ//) and radial diffusivity (λ⊥) were compared pixel by pixel between the sessions for each subject. Significant increased morning measurements in FA, ADC, λ// and λ⊥ were seen in a wide range of brain areas involving frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes. Prominent evening dominant λ⊥ (18.58%) was detected in the right inferior temporal and ventral fusiform gyri. AM-PM variation of λ⊥ was substantially left side hemisphere dominant (p<0.05), while no hemispheric preference was observed for the same analysis for ADC (p = 0.77), λ// (p = 0.08) or FA (p = 0.25). The percentage change of ADC, λ//, λ⊥, and FA were 1.59%, 2.15%, 1.20% and 2.84%, respectively, for brain areas without diurnal diffusivity contrast. Microstructural variations may function as the substrates of the phasic neural activities in correspondence to the environment adaptation in a light-dark cycle. This research provided a baseline for researches in neuroscience, sleep medicine, psychological and psychiatric disorders, and necessitates that diurnal effect should be taken into account in following up studies using diffusion tensor quantities.

Concepts: Nervous system, Psychology, Human brain, Cerebral cortex, Cerebrum, Snake scales, Frontal lobe, Atomic diffusion


The Turing instability in the reaction-diffusion system is a widely recognized mechanism of the morphogen gradient self-organization during the embryonic development. One of the essential conditions for such self-organization is sharp difference in the diffusion rates of the reacting substances (morphogens). In classical models this condition is satisfied only for significantly different values of diffusion coefficients which cannot hold for morphogens of similar molecular size. One of the most realistic explanations of the difference in diffusion rate is the difference between adsorption of morphogens to the extracellular matrix (ECM). Basing on this assumption we develop a novel mathematical model and demonstrate its effectiveness in describing several well-known examples of biological patterning. Our model consisting of three reaction-diffusion equations has the Turing-type instability and includes two elements with equal diffusivity and immobile binding sites as the third reaction substance. The model is an extension of the classical Gierer-Meinhardt two-components model and can be reduced to it under certain conditions. Incorporation of ECM in the model system allows us to validate the model for available experimental parameters. According to our model introduction of binding sites gradient, which is frequently observed in embryonic tissues, allows one to generate more types of different spatial patterns than can be obtained with two-components models. Thus, besides providing an essential condition for the Turing instability for the system of morphogen with close values of the diffusion coefficients, the morphogen adsorption on ECM may be important as a factor that increases the variability of self-organizing structures.

Concepts: Mathematics, Physics, Model organism, Systems theory, Difference, Model, Atomic diffusion, Surface diffusion


To identify the value of the pre-treatment apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) derived from diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) in predicting the overall survival (OS) for locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) treated with Cyberknife followed by sequential S-1 chemotherapy.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Chemotherapy, Radiation therapy, Diffusion, Pancreatic cancer, Atomic diffusion, Cancer treatments