Researchers have used a 7T MRI scanner to image a single brain specimen for approximately 100 hours of scan time, sharing what they describe as “an unprecedented view of the three-dimensional neuroanatomy of the human brain.”
The team shared its research, including numerous images, on the pre-print website bioRxiv. The brain specimen was donated by a 58-year-old woman with no history of neurological disease, explained Brian L. Edlow, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues.
The ex vivo specimen was fixed in formaldehyde 14 hours after the patient’s death, and researchers described it as a “normal brain.” It remained in the formaldehyde for 35 months and was transferred to a Fomblin solution that “reduces magnetic susceptibility artifacts.” A custom apparatus was also designed to hold the brain in place during the scans.
The total scan time was 100 hours and eight minutes, the authors explained. Approximately 7.92 TB of raw k-space data was collected.
“We envision a broad range of investigational, educational, and clinical applications for this dataset that have the potential to advance understanding of human brain anatomy in health and disease,” Edlow and colleagues wrote.