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At the MFI Laboratory, we develop and use a variety of magnetic resonance (MR) sequences that facilitate non-invasive acquisition of physiological data of the mother and her fetus. We then apply these techniques to understand how maternal lifestyle choices and gestational disorders alter maternal and fetal physiology, fetal development and consequently, postnatal health.

Prognostication of Pregnant COVID-19 Patients

Through an international collaboration, we are creating an artificial intelligence algorithm that identifies patterns and predicts disease severity and progression in pregnant women with COVID-19.

Automatic Fetal Image Segmentation and Classification

We are using machine learning approaches along with image processing techniques to develop novel algorithms for segmentation and disease classification of the placenta, fetus, and fetal organs from MR images. These will permit earlier and more accurate disease detection and facilitate interventions.

Automatic Image Segmentation rendering

Imaging Fetal Glucose Metabolism

We are developing a novel MRI technique that will non-invasively assess glucose metabolism in fetal organs. This technique, called Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (glucoCEST), creates image contrast by exploiting magnetization transfer between glucose and surrounding water. This method will facilitate early diagnosis and treatment of fetal metabolic disorders and intra-uterine growth restriction.

Imaging Fetal Glucose Metabolism

Fetal Phantom Synthesis

We are synthesizing 3D phantoms of the human fetus for magnetic resonance testing. This phantom will enable us to optimize various MR sequences as well as motion correction algorithms.

Fetal Phantom Synthesis rendering

Amniotic Fluid MR Spectroscopy

Amniotic fluid (AF) contains nutrients and hormones that support fetal growth as well as markers of fetal organ development. We are developing an in-vivo Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) technique to non-invasively evaluate AF chemical content as it changes throughout pregnancy. This method will allow us to evaluate fetal lung and kidney maturity, thereby replacing amniocentesis—a highly invasive and risky procedure.

Amniotic Fluid MR Spectroscopy

Maternal-Fetal Cardiovascular Imaging

We are applying phase-contrast MRI and MR-oximetry to evaluate blood flow and oxygen delivery to the materno-fetal unit. This approach is currently used in understanding how cardiovascular physiology is altered due to exercise and nutrient intake during pregnancy.

Maternal Fetal Cardiovascular Imaging

Smart Surveillance of Brain Tumours

Clinical surveillance of brain tumours is typically a manual task aimed at assessing tumour growth and transformation. We are working closely with neurosurgeons and radiologists to develop an algorithm that automatically carries out tumour grading from non-contrast enhanced 3D MRIs.