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Highlights 2013

Patent

Jihad Zallat, Marc Torzynski, Christian Heinrich and Alex Lallement are the inventors of a patented device whose aim is to compensate the dephasing drift of a polarization state modulator.

This device is based on liquid crystal modulators. The drift of one modulator is compensated by the drift of another modulator. This alleviates the need to recurrently calibrate the instrument.

Results of the project ERC FBrain

The ERC FBrain project (2008-2013), led by François Rousseau, came to an end. Recent advances in medical imaging now allow us to quantify the maturation of brain tissue in the fetal stage, and opens a new avenue to understanding the rapid brain development in utero. These developments complement the work already done in imaging at the cellular level in animal and post mortem brain development studies. The fast MRI acquisition techniques are now able to "freeze" the motion of the fetal head during image acquisition. Reconstructing 3D images of the fetal brain is now feasible by using advanced post-processing algorithms. These new 3D images have motivated the development of new techniques for automatically labeling areas developing tissues in MRI data to their precise quantification. These methods were the basis of work to create the first maps of the growth of tissues and some patterns of cortical development in utero. Our work also showed that the estimate of connectome (i.e. the network of the fibers in the brain) in the fetus in utero is now possible. These measurements provide valuable conclusions that complement those from post mortem studies, and also allow the possibility of large population studies on the influence of genes and the maternal environment on early brain development.

Colin Studholme, François Rousseau, « Quantifying and modelling tissue maturation in the living human fetal brain », International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, 2013