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So excited that the paper that is the culmination of my #PhD came out in @ScienceTM today! As the COVER story! Can't wait to share this 6-yr labor of love with the world. Here are some of the main takeaways from the paper:

#BigDay #HealthTech #PortableMRI #HydrationSensor
MRI is a powerful diagnostic tool but it is too expensive ($1.5M) and time-consuming (10-60min) to use on a regular basis. We developed a portable NMR sensor that can harness the diagnostic power of quantitative MRI at a fraction of the time (<1min) and cost ($1k).
It is not necessary to generate images in order to take quantitative magnetic resonance (relaxometry) measurements. Removing the need to generates images makes the hardware simpler, smaller, and cheaper.

I wrote about this for the @MIT_alumni blog: alum.mit.edu/slice/grad-lif…
Specifically, we analyzed how our novel NMR sensor performed as a portable, non-invasive hydration sensor. Modern medicine does not yet have good ways to assess hydration levels, yet fluid imbalances are extremely common & costly (heart failure, kidney disease, dehydration, etc)
Magnetic resonance (MR) is a good modality with which to measure hydration because the MR signal comes directly from hydrogen atoms (and most of the body’s hydrogen is found in water molecules, H20).
#hydration #MRI #science
Even though we did not generate images with our NMR sensor, we could algorithmically determine what percentage of the signal was coming from which tissue types and fluid spaces.

#sensors #HealthTech #algorithms #science
We ran a clinical study and recruited dialysis patients as a model of hypervolemia (excess fluid), and healthy controls as a model of euvolemia (normal fluid levels). We measured all participants at the beginning and end of the day using both MRI, our NMR sensor, & bioimpedance
Relative amplitude* (RA) was the most sensitive MR parameter to fluid accumulation. Here's a heatmap of RA values a healthy control vs dialysis participant. The hot pixel colors indicate higher relative amplitudes (greater % of extracellular fluid).
*of T2 measurements
We discovered several interesting MR biomarkers across various different hydration states. Most importantly, MRI and the NMR sensor could detect fluid overload before it appeared on clinical exam (which is the way most physicians diagnose fluid overload today).
Even low-levels of fluid accumulation lead to increased morbidity & mortality, but it’s hard for doctors to detect this degree of fluid buildup. Our NMR sensor may be a solution. If we can detect fluid accumulation early, we can prevent costly hospitalizations & save lives.
Portable NMR sensors are not just useful for hydration sensing. Quantitative MRI biomarkers already have several important diagnostic use cases (liver iron overload, cancer). Portable NNR sensors may enable us to take these qMRI measurements in a more convenient & economical way
I hope that is just the beginning of an era of medicine where we use the power of MRI not just in multi-million dollar radiology suites but in the doctor’s office, the ambulance, and eventually even your home
Thanks to all my co-authors, collaborators, and supporters throughout this journey! @RosenLab @MGHMartinos @kochinstitute @MGH_RI @harvardmed @NSF @MichaelJCima @IQSS @MGHKidneys @MGHImaging @mit_hst @harvard #PhDone #phdlife #science
To reporters, here is a press package complete with key bullet points, quotes, and images/videos you can use in your articles: linacolucci.com/portfolio/port…
Here is the link to the paper: stm.sciencemag.org/content/11/502…
And also feel free to get in touch!
Also, my @TEDxDuke talk about this work comes out shortly – so stay tuned! #science #phdchat #imaging #HealthTech #innovation
@TEDxDuke Here is my @TEDx talk describing this work to a general audience! #science #MRI #imaging #HealthTech @DukeU @DukeAlumni @mit_hst @TEDxDuke

Original paper: stm.sciencemag.org/content/11/502…

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