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For characterization of diseases, mechanical tissue parameters can be quantified using magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) over wide length and frequency ranges. To understand changes of mechanical parameters caused by disease-related alterations of the extracellular matrix (ECM), the resolution of existing methods must be extended to biopsy samples or resected specimens.

Innovations and perspectives

Using multiscale MRE and viscoelastic modeling, a methodology for biophysically-founded imaging will be established to target microscopic ECM changes in the course of pathological processes. In a second project phase, the translation into diagnostic applications for inflammatory processes, related to cardiovascular, neurological and gastroenterological diseases, will be addressed.

Project duration

2018-07 to 2022-06

Selected publications

  • Jordan JEL, Bertalan G, Meyer T, Tzschätzsch H, Gauert A, Bramè L, Herthum H, Safraou Y, Schröder L, Braun J, Hagemann AIH, Sack I. Microscopic multifrequency MR elastography for mapping viscoelasticity in zebrafish. Magn Reson Med 2022;87:1435-1445.
  • Reiter R, Loch F, Kamphues C, Bayerl C, Marticorena S, Siegmund B, Kuehl A, Hamm B, Braun J, Sack I, Asbach P. Feasibility of Intestinal MR Elastography in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. J Magn Reson Imag 2021; doi: 10.1002/jmri.27833.
  • Lilaj L, Herthum H, Meyer T, Shahryari M, Bertalan G, Caiazzo A, Braun J, Fischer T, Hirsch S, Sack I. Inversion recovery MR elastography of the human brain for improved stiffness quantification near fluid-solid boundaries. Magn Reson Med 2021;86:2552-2561.
  • Herthum H, Shahryari M, Tzschätzsch H, Schrank F, Warmuth C, Görner S, Hetzer S, Neubauer H, Pfeuffer J, Braun J, Sack I. Real-time multifrequency MR elastography of the human brain reveals rapid changes in viscoelasticity in response to the Valsalva maneuver. Front. Bioeng Biotechnol 2021; doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2021.666456.
  • Herthum H, Dempsey S, Samani A, Schrank F, Shahryari M, Warmuth C, Tzschätzsch H, Braun J, Sack I. Superviscous properties of the in vivo brain at large scales. Acta Biomaterialia Acta Biomater 2021;121:393-404.


PD Dr. rer. nat. Jürgen Braun

Section Image Analysis (IMI)



Project partners