A pure electroporation injury leads to cell membrane disruption and subsequent osmotic swelling of the tissue. The state of water in the injured area of a tissue is changed and differs from a healthy tissue. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is very sensitive to the quality of the interaction between mobile (water) protons and a restricted (protein) proton pool, is therefore a useful tool to characterize this injury. Here, we present a protocol designed to measure the difference between the values of the transverse magnetic relaxation time (T2) in MRIs of healthy and electrically injured tissue. In addition, we present a method to evaluate the two main contributions to the MRI contrast, the degree of structural alteration of the cellular components (including a major contribution from membrane pores), and edema. The approach is useful in assessing the level of damage that electric shocks produce in muscle tissues, in that edema will resolve in time whereas structural changes require active repair mechanisms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)