Julien Valette

Center for Magnetic Resonance Research Minnesota, USA, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

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Publications (37)115.65 Total impact

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    ISMRM, Milan, Italy; 05/2014
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    ABSTRACT: To introduce a new outer volume suppression (OVS) technique that uses a single pulse and rotating gradients to accomplish frequency-swept excitation. This new technique, which is called gradient rotating outer volume excitation (GROOVE), produces a circular or elliptical suppression band rather than suppressing the entire outer volume. Theoretical and k-space descriptions of GROOVE are provided. The properties of GROOVE were investigated with simulations, phantom, and human experiments performed using a 4T horizontal bore magnet equipped with a TEM coil. Similar suppression performance was obtained in phantom and human brain using GROOVE with circular and elliptical shapes. Simulations indicate that GROOVE requires less SAR and time than traditional OVS schemes, but traditional schemes provide a sharper transition zone and less residual signal. GROOVE represents a new way of performing OVS in which spins are excited temporally in space on a trajectory that can be tailored to fit the shape of the suppression region. In addition, GROOVE is capable of suppressing tailored regions of space with more flexibility and in a shorter period of time than conventional methods. GROOVE provides a fast, low SAR alternative to conventional OVS methods in some applications (e.g., scalp suppression). Magn Reson Med, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 01/2014; · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Due to their pure intracellular compartmentation, the translational diffusion of brain metabolites in vivo depends on the intracellular environment, including viscosity, molecular crowding and subcellular structures. However, as the diffusion time is increased, metabolites have enough time to significantly encounter cell boundaries, so that cell size and geometry are expected to strongly determine metabolites diffusion path. In the present work, diffusion-weighted nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to investigate brain metabolites diffusion in vivo, at long and ultra-long diffusion times (from ~80ms to more than 1s), in a voxel with equal proportions of white and grey matter in macaque monkeys. No dramatic dependence of the ADC on the diffusion time was observed, suggesting that metabolites apparent diffusion is largely unrestricted over these time-scales. In an attempt to explain this stability and relate it to plausible cell geometries, data were analyzed with two simple geometrical models describing diffusion either in fibers such as axons, dendrites and astrocytic processes, or in closed cell bodies. Results support the idea that DW-MRS is sensitive to cell shape, and that a vast fraction of brain metabolites is diffusing in long fibers rather than being confined in cell bodies.
    NeuroImage 12/2013; · 6.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PEGylated polyester nanocapsules of perfluorooctyl bromide (PFOB) were surface-decorated with a RGD (Arginine-Glycine-Aspartic acid) peptide by either pre-functionalization or post-functionalization strategies using carbodiimide-assisted chemistry. Both strategies allowed successful linkage of RGD at the surface of nanocapsules with up to 600 to 950 peptide units per nanocapsule without modifying the encapsulation efficacy of PFOB used as the (19)F MRI imaging moiety. Cryo-Transmission Electron Microscopy images evidence that slight changes of the polymer used to form the capsule shell strongly influence nanocapsule morphology. While, the use of copolymer blends induces the formation of acorn morphologies, PLA-b-PEG-COOH leads to elongated and "tears of wine"-like nanoconstructs. In vivo evaluation in mice bearing CT26 tumors by (19)F MRI reveals no significant difference of accumulation between PEGylated and RGD-decorated nanocapsules obtained by the post-functionalization approach (highest RGD density/capsule).
    European journal of pharmaceutics and biopharmaceutics: official journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik e.V 12/2013; · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The knowledge of brain tissues characteristics (such as extracellular space and tortuosity) represents valuable information for the design of optimal MR probes for specific biomarkers targeting. This work proposes a methodology based on dynamic acquisition of relaxation time maps to quantify in vivo MRI contrast agent concentration after intra-cerebral injection in rat brain. It was applied to estimate the hindered diffusion in brain tissues of five contrast agents with different hydrodynamic diameters (Dotarem® ≈ 1 nm, P846 ≈ 4 nm, P792 ≈ 7 nm, P904 ≈ 22 nm and Gd-based emulsion ≈ 170 nm). In vivo apparent diffusion coefficients were compared with those estimated in an obstacle-free medium to determine brain extracellular space and tortuosity. At a 2 h imaging timescale, all contrast agents except the Gd-based emulsion exhibited significant diffusion through brain tissues, with characteristic times compatible with MR molecular imaging (<70 min to diffuse between two capillaries). In conclusion, our experiments indicate that MRI contrast agents with sizes up to 22 nm can be used to perform molecular imaging on intra-cerebral biomarkers. Our quantification methodology allows a precise estimation of apparent diffusion coefficients, which is helpful to calibrate optimal timing between contrast agent injection and MRI observation for molecular imaging studies. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging 01/2013; 8(1):12-9. · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: (13)C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is the method of choice for studying brain metabolism. Indeed, the most convincing data obtained to decipher metabolic exchanges between neurons and astrocytes have been obtained using this technique, thus illustrating its power. It may be difficult for non-specialists, however, to grasp thefull implication of data presented in articles written by spectroscopists. The aim of the review is, therefore, to provide a fundamental understanding of this topic to facilitate the non-specialists in their reading of this literature. In the first part of this review, we present the metabolic fate of (13)C-labeled substrates in the brain in a detailed way, including an overview of some general neurochemical principles. We also address and compare the various spectroscopic strategies that can be used to study brain metabolism. Then, we provide an overview of the (13)C NMR experiments performed to analyze both intracellular and intercellular metabolic fluxes. More particularly, the role of lactate as a potential energy substrate for neurons is discussed in the light of (13)C NMR data. Finally, new perspectives and applications offered by (13)C hyperpolarization are described.
    Frontiers in Neuroenergetics 01/2013; 5:9.
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    ABSTRACT: Molecular imaging with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) targeted contrast agents has emerged as a promising diagnostic approach in cancer research to detect associated biomarkers. In this work, the potential of (19)F MRI was investigated to detect angiogenesis with α(ν)β(3)-targeted perfluorooctylbromide nanoparticles (PFOB NP) in a U87 glioblastoma mouse model at 7 Tesla. Mice were injected intravenously with targeted or non-targeted NP and (19)F images were immediately acquired for 90 min using a PFOB-dedicated MRI sequence. Mice infused with targeted NP exhibited higher concentrations in tumors than mice of the control group, despite the presence of nonspecific signal originating from the blood. Imaging results were corroborated by histology and fluorescence imaging, suggesting specific binding of targeted NP to α(ν)β(3) integrin. Two other groups of mice were injected 24 h before imaging to allow blood clearance but no significant differences were found between both groups, probably due to a loss of specificity of PFOB NP. This is the first demonstration of the ability of (19)F MRI to detect α(ν)β(3)-integrin endothelial expression in brain tumors in vivo.
    Angiogenesis 10/2012; · 4.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Translational displacement of molecules within cells is a key process in cellular biology. Molecular motion potentially depends on many factors, including active transport, cytosol viscosity and molecular crowding, tortuosity resulting from cytoskeleton and organelles, and restriction barriers. However, the relative contribution of these factors to molecular motion in the cytoplasm remains poorly understood. In this work, we designed an original diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance spectroscopy strategy to probe molecular motion at subcellular scales in vivo. This led to the first observation of anomalous diffusion, that is, dependence of the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) on the diffusion time, for endogenous intracellular metabolites in the brain. The observed increase of the ADC at short diffusion time yields evidence that metabolite motion is characteristic of hindered random diffusion rather than active transport, for time scales up to the dozen milliseconds. Armed with this knowledge, data modeling based on geometrically constrained diffusion was performed. Results suggest that metabolite diffusion occurs in a low-viscosity cytosol hindered by ∼2-μm structures, which is consistent with known intracellular organization.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 29 August 2012; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2012.119.
    Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 08/2012; · 5.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PLGA-PEG nanocapsules containing a liquid core of perfluorooctyl bromide were synthesized by an emulsion-evaporation process and designed as contrast agents for (19)F MRI. Physico-chemical properties of plain and PEGylated nanocapsules were compared. The encapsulation efficiency of PFOB, estimated by (19)F NMR spectroscopy, is enhanced when using PLGA-PEG instead of PLGA. PLGA-PEG nanocapsule diameter, measured by Dynamic Light Scattering is around 120 nm, in agreement with Transmission Electron microscopy (TEM) observations. TEM and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) reveal that spherical core-shell morphology is preserved. PEGylation is further confirmed by Zeta potential measurements and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy. In vitro, stealthiness of the PEGylated nanocapsules is evidenced by weak complement activation. Accumulation kinetics in the liver and the spleen was performed by (19)F MRI in mice, during the first 90 min after intravenous injection. In the liver, plain nanocapsules accumulate faster than their PEGylated counterparts. We observe PEGylated nanocapsule accumulation in CT26 xenograft tumor 7 h after administration to mice, whereas plain nanocapsules remain undetectable, using (19)F MRI. Our results validate the use of diblock copolymers for PEGylation to increase the residence time of nanocapsules in the blood stream and to reach tumors by the Enhanced Permeation and Retention (EPR) effect.
    Biomaterials 05/2012; 33(22):5593-602. · 8.31 Impact Factor
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    ISMRM, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; 05/2012
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    ABSTRACT: Metabolic modeling of dynamic (13)C labeling curves during infusion of (13)C-labeled substrates allows quantitative measurements of metabolic rates in vivo. However metabolic modeling studies performed in the brain to date have only modeled time courses of total isotopic enrichment at individual carbon positions (positional enrichments), not taking advantage of the additional dynamic (13)C isotopomer information available from fine-structure multiplets in (13)C spectra. Here we introduce a new (13)C metabolic modeling approach using the concept of bonded cumulative isotopomers, or bonded cumomers. The direct relationship between bonded cumomers and (13)C multiplets enables fitting of the dynamic multiplet data. The potential of this new approach is demonstrated using Monte-Carlo simulations with a brain two-compartment neuronal-glial model. The precision of positional and cumomer approaches are compared for two different metabolic models (with and without glutamine dilution) and for different infusion protocols ([1,6-(13)C(2)]glucose, [1,2-(13)C(2)]acetate, and double infusion [1,6-(13)C(2)]glucose + [1,2-(13)C(2)]acetate). In all cases, the bonded cumomer approach gives better precision than the positional approach. In addition, of the three different infusion protocols considered here, the double infusion protocol combined with dynamic bonded cumomer modeling appears the most robust for precise determination of all fluxes in the model. The concepts and simulations introduced in the present study set the foundation for taking full advantage of the available dynamic (13)C multiplet data in metabolic modeling.
    Neurochemical Research 04/2012; · 2.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: LipoCEST are liposome-encapsulating paramagnetic contrast agents (CA) based on chemical exchange saturation transfer with applications in biomolecular MRI. Their attractive features include biocompatibility, subnanomolar sensitivity, and amenability to functionalization for targeting biomarkers. We demonstrate MR imaging using a targeted lipoCEST, injected intravenously. A lipoCEST carrying Tm(III)-complexes was conjugated to RGD tripeptide (RGD-lipoCEST), to target integrin α(ν) β(3) receptors involved in tumor angiogenesis and was compared with an unconjugated lipoCEST. Brain tumors were induced in athymic nude mice by intracerebral injection of U87MG cells and were imaged at 7 T after intravenous injection of either of the two contrast agents (n = 12 for each group). Chemical exchange saturation transfer-MSME sequence was applied over 2 h with an average acquisition time interval of 13.5 min. The chemical exchange saturation transfer signal was ∼1% in the tumor and controlateral regions, and decreased to ∼0.3% after 2 h; while RGD-lipoCEST signal was ∼1.4% in the tumor region and persisted for up to 2 h. Immunohistochemical staining revealed a persistent colocalization of RGD-lipoCEST with α(ν) β(3) receptors in the tumor region. These results constitute an encouraging step toward in vivo MRI imaging of tumor angiogenesis using intravenously injected lipoCEST. Magn Reson Med, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 02/2012; · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Early diagnosis and follow-up of neurodegenerative diseases are often hampered by the lack of reliable biomarkers. Neuroimaging techniques like magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) offer promising tools to detect biochemical alterations at early stages of degeneration. Intracellular pH, which can be measured noninvasively by (31)P-MRS, has shown variations in several brain diseases. Our purpose has been to evaluate the potential of MRS-measured pH as a relevant biomarker of early degeneration in Huntington's disease (HD). We used a translational approach starting with a preclinical validation of our hypothesis before adapting the method to HD patients. (31)P-MRS-derived cerebral pH was first measured in rodents during chronic intoxication with 3-nitropropionic acid (3NP). A significant pH increase was observed early into the intoxication protocol (pH=7.17±0.02 after 3 days) as compared with preintoxication (pH=7.08±0.03). Furthermore, pH changes correlated with the 3NP-induced inhibition of succinate dehydrogenase and preceded striatum lesions. Using a similar MRS approach implemented on a clinical MRI, we then showed that cerebral pH was significantly higher in HD patients (n=7) than in healthy controls (n=6) (7.05±0.03 versus 7.02±0.01, respectively, P=0.026). Altogether, both preclinical and human data strongly argue in favor of MRS-measured pH being a promising biomarker for diagnosis and follow-up of HD.
    Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 02/2012; 32(5):771-9. · 5.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diffusion-weighted spectroscopy is a unique tool for exploring the intracellular microenvironment in vivo. In living systems, diffusion may be anisotropic, when biological membranes exhibit particular orientation patterns. In this work, a volume selective diffusion-weighted sequence is proposed, allowing single-shot measurement of the trace of the diffusion tensor, which does not depend on tissue anisotropy. With this sequence, the minimal echo time is only three times the diffusion time. In addition, cross-terms between diffusion gradients and other gradients are cancelled out. An adiabatic version, similar to localization by adiabatic selective refocusing sequence, is then derived, providing partial immunity against cross-terms. Proof of concept is performed ex vivo on chicken skeletal muscle by varying tissue orientation and intra-voxel shim. In vivo performance of the sequence is finally illustrated in a U87 glioblastoma mouse model, allowing the measurement of the trace apparent diffusion coefficient for six metabolites, including J-modulated metabolites. Although measurement performed along three separate orthogonal directions would bring similar accuracy on trace apparent diffusion coefficient under ideal conditions, the method described here should be useful for probing intimate properties of the cells with minimal experimental bias. Magn Reson Med, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 02/2012; · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have recently developed an optimized multi‐spin echo (MSE) sequence dedicated to perfluorooctyl bromide (PFOB) imaging yielding an excellent sensitivity in vitro. The aim of the present study was to apply this sequence to quantitative measurements in the mouse liver and spleen after intravenous (i.v.) injection of PFOB emulsions. We first performed oxygenation maps 25.5 min after a single infusion of emulsion and, contrary to previous studies, shortly after injection. The signal‐to‐noise ratio (SNR) in the liver and spleen was as high as 45 and 120, respectively, for 3‐min images with 11.7‐μL pixels. Values of oxygen tension tended to be slightly higher in the spleen than in the liver. Dynamic biodistribution experiments were then performed immediately after intravenous (i.v.) injection of PFOB emulsions grafted with different quantities of polyethylene glycol (PEG) for stealth. Images were acquired every 7 min for 84 min and the SNR measured in the liver and spleen was at least four from the first time point. Uptake rates could be assessed for each PEG amount and, in spite of high standard deviations (SDs) owing to interanimal variability, our data confirmed that increasing quantities of PEG allow more gradual uptake of the emulsion particles by the liver and spleen. In conclusion, our method seems to be a powerful tool to non‐invasively perform accurate in vivo quantitative measurements in the liver and spleen using 19 F MRI. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    NMR in Biomedicine 01/2012; 25(4). · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have recently developed an optimized multi-spin echo (MSE) sequence dedicated to perfluorooctyl bromide (PFOB) imaging yielding an excellent sensitivity in vitro. The aim of the present study was to apply this sequence to quantitative measurements in the mouse liver and spleen after intravenous (i.v.) injection of PFOB emulsions. We first performed oxygenation maps 25.5 min after a single infusion of emulsion and, contrary to previous studies, shortly after injection. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in the liver and spleen was as high as 45 and 120, respectively, for 3-min images with 11.7-μL pixels. Values of oxygen tension tended to be slightly higher in the spleen than in the liver. Dynamic biodistribution experiments were then performed immediately after intravenous (i.v.) injection of PFOB emulsions grafted with different quantities of polyethylene glycol (PEG) for stealth. Images were acquired every 7 min for 84 min and the SNR measured in the liver and spleen was at least four from the first time point. Uptake rates could be assessed for each PEG amount and, in spite of high standard deviations (SDs) owing to interanimal variability, our data confirmed that increasing quantities of PEG allow more gradual uptake of the emulsion particles by the liver and spleen. In conclusion, our method seems to be a powerful tool to non-invasively perform accurate in vivo quantitative measurements in the liver and spleen using (19)F MRI.
    NMR in Biomedicine 09/2011; 25(4):654-60. · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the present work, the non-linear phase dispersion induced by slice selective frequency-swept pulses is analyzed, in order to assess NMR signal attenuation due to molecular diffusion during such pulses. In particular, theoretical considerations show that diffusion-weighting can be calculated based on the non-linear phase spatial derivative (i.e. the phase gradient), and that the phase of B(1) field at the instant of the flip does not contribute to phase scrambling and diffusion-weighting, yielding a simple analytical expressions. The theory is validated by confrontation with numerical simulations of the Bloch equations including diffusion, performed for a pair of hyperbolic secant pulses and a pair of CHIRP pulses. The simple though general conceptual framework developed here should be useful for the understanding and the exact calculation of diffusion-weighting in NMR sequences using frequency-swept pulses.
    Journal of Magnetic Resonance 08/2010; 205(2):255-9. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ISMRM, Stockholm, Sweden; 05/2010
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    ABSTRACT: In the present work, the NMR properties of perfluorooctylbromide are revisited to derive a high-sensitivity fluorine MRI strategy. It is shown that the harmful effects of J-coupling can be eliminated by carefully choosing the bandwidth of the 180 degrees pulses in a spin-echo sequence. The T(2) of the CF(3) resonance of the molecule is measured using a multispin-echo sequence and shown to dramatically depend on the interpulse delay. Following these observations, an optimized multispin-echo imaging sequence is derived and compared with short TE/pulse repetition time gradient echo and chemical shift imaging sequences. The unparalleled sensitivity yielded by the multispin-echo sequence is promising for future applications, in particular for targeted contrast agents such as perfluorooctylbromide nanoparticles.
    Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 04/2010; 63(4):1119-24. · 3.27 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

260 Citations
115.65 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007–2014
    • Center for Magnetic Resonance Research Minnesota, USA
      Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
  • 2007–2012
    • University of Minnesota Twin Cities
      • • Center for Magnetic Resonance Research
      • • Department of Radiology
      Minneapolis, MN, United States
  • 2008–2010
    • Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission
      • Institute of biomedical imaging (I²BM)
      Gif-sur-Yvette, Ile-de-France, France
  • 2009
    • French National Centre for Scientific Research
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2006
    • Cea Leti
      Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes, France