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Coaxially electrospun axon-mimicking fibers for diffusion magnetic resonance imaging.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
1944-8252
Publisher
American Chemical Society
Publication Date
Volume
4
Issue
11
Pages
6311–6316
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1021/am301919s
PMID: 23135104
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The study of brain structure and connectivity using diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) has recently gained substantial interest. However, the use of dMRI still faces major challenges because of the lack of standard materials for validation. The present work reports on brain tissue-mimetic materials composed of hollow microfibers for application as a standard material in dMRI. These hollow fibers were fabricated via a simple and one-step coaxial electrospining (co-ES) process. Poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and polyethylene oxide (PEO) were employed as shell and core materials, respectively, to achieve the most stable co-ES process. These co-ES hollow PCL fibers have different inner diameters, which mainly depend on the flow rate of the core solution and have the potential to cover the size range of the brain tissue we aimed to mimic. Co-ES aligned hollow PCL fibers were characterized using optical and electron microscopy and tested as brain white matter mimics on a high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that co-ES hollow fibers have been successfully used as a tissue mimic or phantom in diffusion MRI. The results of the present study provide evidence that this phantom can mimic the dMRI behavior of cellular barriers imposed by axonal cell membranes and myelin; the measured diffusivity is compatible with that of in vivo biological tissues. Together these results suggest the potential use of co-ES hollow microfibers as tissue-mimicking phantoms in the field of medical imaging.

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