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Miriam Menzel - From Scattered Light Imaging to Scatterometry: How scattering enables new insights into the brain

Miriam Menzel, PhD
October 27, 2021 - 10:00am
via Zoom

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Miriam Menzel, PhD

Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine, Forschungszentrum Jülich (Germany)


The correct reconstruction of nerve fiber pathways is a prerequisite when constructing a detailed network model of the brain. With Scattered Light Imaging (SLI) we have developed a new imaging technique that allows the reconstruction of individual crossing nerve fiber pathways in whole brain tissue samples with micrometer resolution: The individual fiber orientations are determined by illuminating unstained histological brain sections from different angles and measuring the transmitted scattered light. While X-ray scattering yields scattering patterns for selected tissue spots and allows the reconstruction of crossing nerve fiber orientations, SLI enables to retrieve these scattering patterns in whole brain tissue samples for each image pixel at once, using visible light and standard optical components. The talk will introduce the concept of this new imaging technique, provide an overview of the different measurement setups, and show how SLI can be used to gain unprecedented insights into the nerve fiber architecture of the brain.

Figure illustrating the use of light scattering in brain imaging

About the speaker

Dr. Miriam Menzel studied physics at RWTH Aachen University (Germany) and Imperial College London (UK), before joining the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine, Forschungszentrum Jülich (Germany). She received her PhD from RWTH with distinction in 2018 and was awarded the Helmholtz Doctoral Prize 2019. Dr. Menzel works on developing new light microscopy techniques and analysis tools for brain research. In particular, she developed Scattered Light Imaging (SLI), which exploits the scattering of light to visualize nerve fiber crossings. As Klaus Tschira Boost fellow, she received funding for a PhD student to work on the combination of polarized and scattered light imaging. After research visits at the European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy (Italy) and the Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands), Dr. Menzel is now a visiting postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Michael Zeineh’s lab (Department of Radiology, Stanford School of Medicine) where she will work with Dr. Marios Georgiadis on the comparison of SLI and X-ray scattering in brain tissue.

Event Sponsor: 
Radiological Sciences Laboratory (RSL)
Invited Speaker Series
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