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Magnetic Resonance Microscopy of Environmental Lung Injury

EMSL Project ID


The goal for this project is to develop a three-dimensional (3D), geometric database that describes the remodeling of respiratory airways in Rhesus monkeys following ozone challenge. To accomplish this, Magnetic Resonance (MR) microscopy is employed for visualizing fixed tissues and pulmonary casts. A semi-automated image analysis is then utilized to digitally segment respiratory airways, and following image segmentation, 3D computational meshes are developed for describing airway surfaces. Since 3D meshes can be utilized for computational fluid dynamics, microscopy results not only provide a quantitative basis for assessing the effects of ozone exposure on airway development but also for examining how altered airway architecture ultimately impacts respiratory airflow. The ability to exploit high-resolution MR images for rapidly compiling detailed models of respiratory airways is a unique EMSL capability that has the potential for revolutionizing many aspects of inhalation toxicology and is well suited for addressing a host of environmental questions of concern to the US Department of Energy, Homeland Security, and other Federal Agencies.

Project Details

Project type
Capability Research
Start Date
End Date


Principal Investigator

Kevin Minard
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Team Members

Jack Harkema
Michigan State University

Charles Plopper
University of California, Davis