2005 RET Participant Vickie Reedy
Houston County High School
Chemistry and Environmental Science
Dr. Mark Does Ð MRI Lab
The objective of the research experience was to create a phantom gel that displayed the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, or NMR, properties of the myelin sheath that surrounds axons. The purpose of creating this phantom is to have a quality control sample that may be used to calibrate any Magnetic Resonance Image, or MRI, equipment. A basic understanding of NMR and MRI spectroscopy and imaging was essential to understanding the goal of the research.
The gel had to have the proper interaction of protons to yield the correct T1 and T2 values. The gel components consisted of urea, water, and gelatin or agar. In addition to these components the addition of a contrast agent such as manganese chloride or copper sulfate were acceptable to modify the T1 and T2 values as necessary. The experimental process encompassed producing a variety of gel or agar samples with various pH's and gel strengths. Each sample was consistent in the concentration of urea and water.
The gels were produced in the chemistry laboratory inside the Small Animal Imaging Center. Two of the samples exhibited the desired values in the NMR spectroscopy. The samples must be tested over time for stability and consistency in spectroscopy readings.