PET-MRI with lower leg coil and foot rest
PET-MRI with low­er leg coil and foot rest
Image 1/4, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

PET-MRI with lower leg coil and foot rest

The PET-MRI de­vice can be used to in­ves­ti­gate phys­i­o­log­i­cal changes due to var­i­ous fac­tors such as bed rest, low-head po­si­tion, hy­pox­ia, sleep de­pri­va­tion, or a space mis­sion.
PET-MRI with test person in :envihab
PET-MRI with test per­son in :en­vi­hab
Image 2/4, Credit: © DLR. All rights reserved

PET-MRI with test person in :envihab

DLR PET MRI dur­ing an MRI head scan and si­mul­ta­ne­ous use of the neg­a­tive pres­sure de­vice and mon­i­tor­ing the pa­tient.
DLR PET MRI scanner
DLR PET MRI scan­ner
Image 3/4, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

DLR PET MRI scanner

DLR PET MRI scan­ner with head­rest.
DLR PET MRI scanner
DLR PET MRI scan­ner
Image 4/4, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

DLR PET MRI scanner

DLR PET MRI scan­ner with neg­a­tive pres­sure de­vice.

The PET-MRI, Module 4 at DLR’s :envihab research facility of the Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne, makes it possible to study the physiological changes that can occur in humans on long space flights, among other things. Such insights can in turn be applied to the kinds of physical stress to which people on Earth may be subjected due to unfavourable conditions.

The PET-MRI device at DLR allows the study of physiological changes due to various factors such as bed rest, head-down position, hypoxia, sleep deprivation, or space missions. The impact of these factors on human physiology provides a unique opportunity for basic research, such as the quantification of sodium in tissue and energy metabolism with phosphorus spectroscopy. The PET scanner is used to quantify the spatial distribution of tracer substances. This highly sensitive process allows scientists to detect metabolic processes in the brain.

Fundamental research into the effects of long-duration spaceflight

Unlike a clinical scanner, the PET-MRI has been modified to allow for special MRI procedures. These include sodium imaging (23Na MRI), phosphorus spectroscopy (31P MRS), perfusion and diffusion measurement, and functional imaging (fMRI). In addition, the scanner consists of a combined device comprising PET (positron emission tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), whereby both systems can be used simultaneously.

Notably, the proximity of Module 4 to the other equipment at :envihab – the test participant station, the hypobaric chamber, the physiology laboratory and the centrifuge – allows the direct examination of test participants during and after intervention. Their participation may include training, sleep deprivation, head-down position, local immobilisation, bed rest, or altered air composition (normobaric hypoxia or increased CO2 concentration). This combination makes it possible to carry out complex, integrated studies. 

Contact
  • Volker Speelmann
    Head of Re­search In­fras­truc­tures
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-4103
    Fax: +49 2203 601 4115
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Cologne
    Contact
  • Darius Gerlach
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    In­sti­tute of Aerospace Medicine
    Car­dio­vas­cu­lar Aerospace Medicine
    Telephone: 49 2203 601 3652
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Cologne
    Contact
  • Alex Hoff
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    In­sti­tute of Aerospace Medicine
    Car­dio­vas­cu­lar Aerospace Medicine
    Telephone: 49 2203 601 3059
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Cologne
    Contact

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