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PLoS One. 2013 Oct 10;8(10):e76626. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076626. eCollection 2013.

Diffusion microscopist simulator: a general Monte Carlo simulation system for diffusion magnetic resonance imaging.

Author information

1
Institute of Neuroscience, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan ; NeuroSpin, Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA Saclay), Gif-sur-Yvette, France ; Institut de Federatif de Recherche 49, Gif-sur-Yvette, France.

Abstract

This article describes the development and application of an integrated, generalized, and efficient Monte Carlo simulation system for diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI), named Diffusion Microscopist Simulator (DMS). DMS comprises a random walk Monte Carlo simulator and an MR image synthesizer. The former has the capacity to perform large-scale simulations of Brownian dynamics in the virtual environments of neural tissues at various levels of complexity, and the latter is flexible enough to synthesize dMRI datasets from a variety of simulated MRI pulse sequences. The aims of DMS are to give insights into the link between the fundamental diffusion process in biological tissues and the features observed in dMRI, as well as to provide appropriate ground-truth information for the development, optimization, and validation of dMRI acquisition schemes for different applications. The validity, efficiency, and potential applications of DMS are evaluated through four benchmark experiments, including the simulated dMRI of white matter fibers, the multiple scattering diffusion imaging, the biophysical modeling of polar cell membranes, and the high angular resolution diffusion imaging and fiber tractography of complex fiber configurations. We expect that this novel software tool would be substantially advantageous to clarify the interrelationship between dMRI and the microscopic characteristics of brain tissues, and to advance the biophysical modeling and the dMRI methodologies.

PMID:
24130783
PMCID:
PMC3794953
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0076626
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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