Synchrotron X-PCI and SAXS/WAXS fibrosis characterisation

Cardiovascular imaging is routinely used to investigate cardiac structure and function as well as for the evaluation of cardiac remodeling in cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). For a complete understanding of the relationship between structural remodeling and cardiac dysfunction in CVDs, multi-scale imaging approaches are necessary to achieve a detailed description of ventricular architecture along with cardiac function. Especially the presence and properties if myocardial fibrosis is relevant for clinical decision making ant therapy choice. Recently, synchrotron-based data acquisition has emerged as a powerful technique for the investigation of cardiac fibrosis ex-vivo. At the one hand, direct imaging through X-ray phase-contrast imaging (SR X-PCI) offers the possibility to visualise the collagen and thus 3D distribution of fibrosis, and on the other hand Small (SAXS) and Wide Angle Scattering (WAXS) allows to study the matrix regularity and geometrical properties in tissue sample.

In this project, we will analyse SAXS/WAXS datasets, acquired at ALBA, the Barcelona synchrotron, from biopsies of patients with different etiologies of cardiac fibrosis development in order to understand the resulting spatial arrangement as a function of cardiac abnormality. This information will be compared to knowledge from direct X-PCI imaging of fibrosis in tissue samples to correlate the scatter data with direct imaging. This project is in collaboration with the Institut d'Investigació en Ciències de la Salut Germans Trias i Pujol.


[1] Dejea, H. et al. Microstructural analysis of cardiac endomyocardial biopsies with synchrotron radiation-based X-ray phase contrast imaging. FIMH 10263 LNCS, (2017).