Table_1_Magnetic Resonance Elastography of Rodent Brain.docx

Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is a non-invasive imaging technique, using the propagation of mechanical waves as a probe to palpate biological tissues. It consists in three main steps: production of shear waves within the tissue; encoding subsequent tissue displacement in magnetic resonance images; and extraction of mechanical parameters based on dedicated reconstruction methods. These three steps require an acoustic-frequency mechanical actuator, magnetic resonance imaging acquisition, and a post-processing tool for which no turnkey technology is available. The aim of the present review is to outline the state of the art of reported set-ups to investigate rodent brain mechanical properties. The impact of experimental conditions in dimensioning the set-up (wavelength and amplitude of the propagated wave, spatial resolution, and signal-to-noise ratio of the acquisition) on the accuracy and precision of the extracted parameters is discussed, as well as the influence of different imaging sequences, scanners, electromagnetic coils, and reconstruction algorithms. Finally, the performance of MRE in demonstrating viscoelastic differences between structures constituting the physiological rodent brain, and the changes in brain parameters under pathological conditions, are summarized. The recently established link between biomechanical properties of the brain as obtained on MRE and structural factors assessed by histology is also studied. This review intends to give an accessible outline on how to conduct an elastography experiment, and on the potential of the technique in providing valuable information for neuroscientists.