– Shades of Gray of Pregnant Mouse –
Department – Physics (Graduate Student) –
Research Field – Medical Physics –
How image was captured – Magnetic Resonance Imaging (using 21.1T magnet) –
Research Impact & Significance – For early detection of glucose intolerance during pregnancy, non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are implemented in mice by monitoring placental glucose uptake during different stages of pregnancy (gestational diabetes mellitus). These studies will be extended to analyze glucose metabolism which is an important underlying factor in common pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure, swelling of hands and feet), excess supply of O2 (hyperoxia) and decreased supply of O2 (hypoxia) models. The image shows four cross sections of a pregnant mouse at the end stage of her pregnancy. Five fetuses can be seen within amniotic fluid (bright white) and surrounded by the amniotic sac. Big dark regions of the fetus indicate heart and liver while the head, spinal cord and other fetal tissue can be seen with different shades of grey. Can you see the paw and its digits? Placenta and intestines of the mother are other anatomical structures that can be detected on these scans.