We are developing structural and functional imaging of lungs using ultra-short echo time (UTE) techniques.
Chronic lung diseases such as COPD affect lungs non-uniformly by disrupting pulmonary ventilation and perfusion. Among various imaging modalities, MRI can be used to monitor disease progression and therapeutic response without concerns for repeated exposures to ionizing radiation. However, a primary challenge of lung MRI is the short T2* of the lung tissue due to air/tissue interface.
We are currently exploring various novel 3D UTE acquisitions for volumetric structural imaging of the lungs while minimizing the signal loss due to short T2* relaxation. We are also developing oxygen-enhanced MRI using 3D UTE for functional imaging by generating pulmonary ventilation maps.