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Major grant for brain imaging

Understanding the brain is one of the biggest challenges of today’s science. Erasmus MC's new Centre for Ultrasound and Brain Imaging (CUBE) has been granted € 2.4 million to further develop an innovative ultrasound technology to monitor the brain.

Scientists of Erasmus MC, TU Delft and the Dutch Brain Institute can make the blood flow in the brain more visible using a new type of ultrasound. Due to the speed and precision of this new imaging technique, neuro scientists can get a better insight in how the brain regions work together. And neuro surgeons can use it to differentiate tumors from healthy brain tissue during surgery.

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With the current technique fMRI, the brain can be monitored in a live person but this technique is not perfect. The head needs to be fixated, and the speed and resolution are insufficient to make a sharp images. Moreover, the equipment is expensive and is high maintenance.

Therefore, a better imaging technique is needed to study a living brain. A promising technique is called fUS, which makes it possible to image the blood flow in even the smallest veins. Expectations are high, fUS is already called a ‘real breakthrough in brain imaging’.

Prototypes
Erasmus MC has developed prototypes of fUS (functional ultrasound). The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has granted the funding to enable the CUBE participants to further develop this state-of-the-art ultrasound technology, says Prof. Chris de Zeeuw, head of Erasmus MC's department of Neuro Science in his application for the NWO-grant.

Date published: 3 October 2018.

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