The investigation of mouse flank tumours by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is limited by the achievable spatial resolution, which is generally limited by the critical problem of signal-to-noise ratio. Sensitivity was improved by using an optimized solenoid RF micro-coil, built into the animal cradle. This simple design did not require extensive RF engineering expertise to construct, yet allowed high-resolution 3D isotropic imaging at 60 × 60 × 60 μm3 for a flank tumour in vivo, revealing the heterogeneous internal structure of the tumour. It also allowed dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) experiments and angiography (MRA) to be performed at 100 × 100 × 100 μm3 resolution. The DCE experiments provided an excellent example of the diffusive spreading of contrast agent into less vascularized tumour tissue. This work is the first step in using high-resolution 3D isotropic MR to study transport in mouse flank tumours.
- isotropic imaging
- magnetic resonance imaging