Dr Lauriane Jugé

RESEARCHER PROFILE

Postdoctoral fellow Conjoint Lecturer, School of Medical Sciences, UNSW

+612 9399 1891


Lauriane is a postdoctoral fellow at NeuRA since 2012. She was recruited for her expertise in pre-clinical Magnetic Resonance elastography (MRE) and to pursue the investigations on tissue microstructure-biomechanics relationships. She completed her PhD in 2012 (Biomedical research center Bichat-Beaujon, France), where she obtained training in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and MRE to investigate the vascular-biomechanics relationships in tumours.

Prior to this, Lauriane worked as a research assistant at ChimieParisTech (France) where she conducted molecular analysis using nuclear magnetic resonance for 6 years after graduating from a Masters in Chemistry in 2003.

She conducts pioneering research in MRE of neurological disorders and various diseases in humans and animal models. MRE is a recent MRI technique that measures the mechanical properties of soft tissues. In addition to her MRE expertise, Dr. Jugé is also trained in multi-modal MR imaging techniques (applied to animals and humans and different types of tissues) including anatomical, tagging, perfusion and diffusion MRI. Finally she is currently gaining additional training in MR spectroscopy (MRS).

Currently, Dr. Jugé’s research focuses on 1) developing new imaging biomarkers, on the basis of various tissues biomechanics, to improve the differentiation of various underlying causes of injury (e.g hydrocephalus, colon and liver tumors (PhD thesis), muscle atrophy, stroke).

2) Development of multi-modal imaging biomarkers to better characterize different sleep apnea phenotypes and related treatment outcomes.

3) Determine the neurochemical changes associated with aging and HIV-related brain injury using MRS.

Lauriane is also an organizer of the multi-center NeuRA MRI seminar series

Projects Dr Lauriane Jugé is currently involved with

CURRENT PROJECTS

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Imaging

We have developed novel imaging methods to measure the stiffness and movement of the upper airway muscles, and are using these together with measures of pharyngeal sensation, and electromyography to determine the patient-specific causes of obstructive sleep apnoea. We aim to use this information to tailor treatments for patients. One such treatment is a mandibular advancement splint, but currently it’s not possible to predict who will benefit from use a splint. We have a major project that aims to predict splint treatment outcome, based on our novel imaging methods.• Honours and PhD projects are available to study the neural, biomechanical and physiological aspects of obstructive sleep apnoea, including computational modelling

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Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Imaging

Magnetic resonance elastography

We have developed new MRI methods to measure the mechanical properties of soft tissues (Magnetic Resonance Elastography or MRE). So far, MRE has been used to measure the stiffness of the brain, muscles and other tissues. We continue to develop new approaches, such as combining elastography with Diffusion Tensor Imaging to measure the anisotropic properties of muscles and brain white matter tracts, and how this changes in muscle and neurological disorders. We have discovered that there are changes in tissue stiffness in hydrocephalus (a brain disorder), obstructive sleep apnoea, and degenerative muscle conditions (muscular dystrophy). We are currently working on new methods to measure tissue properties under loading. Honours and PhD projects are available both for developing new methods (to suit engineers and physicists) or in applying these techniques to study clinical disorders.

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Magnetic resonance elastography

Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus is a neurological disorder where the ventricles in the brain enlarge, often due to obstruction to cerebrospinal fluid flow pathways in the brain. However, the biological and biomechanical mechanisms are not well understood, and treatment is currently unsatisfactory, with patients undergoing multiple shunt surgeries. We are studying how brain stiffness and oedema are involved in the development of hydrocephalus, using magnetic resonance imaging, computational modelling and experimental models of hydrocephalus. Honours and PhD projects are available to study the biomechanical and basic biological mechanisms of hydrocephalus, using magnetic resonance imaging, experimental and computational modelling.

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Hydrocephalus

RESEARCH TEAM

Katie Pelland

KATIE PELLAND Visiting PhD student

Elizabeth Clarke

DR ELIZABETH CLARKE Visiting postdoctoral fellow

DR ELIZABETH BROWN Postdoctoral fellow

ALICE HATT Research assistant

ALICE PONG PhD student

FIONA KNAPMAN Research assistant

DR PETER BURKE Postdoctoral fellow

PUBLICATIONS

Development of acute hydrocephalus does not change brain tissue mechanical properties in adult rats, but in juvenile rats.

Pong AC, Jugé L, Bilston LE, Cheng S

This study showed that although brain tissue in the adult hydrocephalic rats was severely compressed, their brain tissue stiffness did not change significantly. These results are in contrast with our previous findings in juvenile hydrocephalic rats which had significantly less brain compression (as the brain circumference was able to stretch with the cranium due to the open skull sutures) and had a significant increase in caudate putamen stiffness. These results suggest that change in brain mechanical properties in hydrocephalus is complex and is not solely dependent on brain tissue deformation. Further studies on the interactions between brain tissue stiffness, deformation, tissue oedema and neural damage are necessary before MRE can be used as a tool to track changes in brain biomechanics in hydrocephalus.

Liver Stiffness Values Are Lower in Pediatric Subjects than in Adults and Increase with Age: A Multifrequency MR Elastography Study.

Etchell E, Jugé L, Hatt A, Sinkus R, Bilston LE

Purpose To determine if healthy hepatic mechanical properties differ between pediatric and adult subjects at magnetic resonance (MR) elastography. Materials and Methods Liver shear moduli in 24 healthy pediatric participants (13 children aged 5-14 years [seven boys, six girls] and 11 adolescents aged 15-18 years [six boys, five girls]) and 10 healthy adults (aged 22-36 years [five men, five women]) were obtained with 3-T MR elastography at 28, 56, and 84 Hz. Relationships between shear moduli and age were assessed with Spearman correlations. Differences between age groups were determined with one-way analysis of variance and Tukey multiple comparisons tests. Results Liver stiffness values (means ± standard deviations) were significantly lower in children and adolescents than in adults at 56 Hz (children, 2.2 kPa ± 0.3; adolescents, 2.2 kPa ± 0.2; adults, 2.6 kPa ± 0.3; analysis of variance, P = .009) and 84 Hz (children, 5.6 kPa ± 0.8; adolescents, 6.5 kPa ± 1.2; adults, 7.8 kPa ± 1.2; analysis of variance, P = .0003) but not at 28 Hz (children, 1.2 kPa ± 0.2; adolescents, 1.3 kPa ± 0.3; adults, 1.2 kPa ± 0.2; analysis of variance, P = .40). At 56 and 84 Hz, liver stiffness increased with age (Spearman correlation, r = 0.38 [P = .03] and r = 0.54 [P = .001], respectively). Stiffness varied less with frequency in children and adolescents than in adults (analysis of variance, P = .0009). No significant differences were found in shear moduli at 28, 56, or 84 Hz or frequency dependence between children and adolescents (P = .38, P = .99, P = .14, and P = .30, respectively, according to Tukey tests). Conclusion Liver stiffness values are lower and vary less with frequency in children and adolescents than in adults. Stiffness increases with age during normal development and approaches adult values during adolescence. Comparing pediatric liver stiffness to adult baseline values to detect pediatric liver mechanical abnormalities may not allow detection of mild disease and may lead to underestimation of severity. (©) RSNA, 2016 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

Longitudinal measurements of postnatal rat brain mechanical properties in-vivo.

Pong AC, Jugé L, Cheng S, Bilston LE

Information on pediatric brain tissue mechanical properties and, more pertinently, how they change during postnatal development remains scarce despite its importance to investigate mechanisms of neural injury. The aim of this study is to determine whether brain mechanical properties change in-vivo during early postnatal development in a rat model. Rat brain viscoelastic properties were measured longitudinally in ten healthy Sprague Dawley rats at five different time points from postnatal week one to week six using magnetic resonance elastography at 800Hz. Myelination and cell density were assessed histologically at the same time points to understand how the underlying tissue microstructure may be associated with changes in mechanical properties at different brain regions. Longitudinal changes in each variable were assessed using a generalized linear model with pairwise comparisons of means between weeks. The brain shear modulus in the cortical gray matter at postnatal week one was 6.3±0.4kPa, and increased significantly from week one to week two (pairwise comparison, p<0.01), remained stable from week two to week four and decreased significantly by week six (pairwise comparison, p<0.001). In the deep gray matter, brain tissue stiffness at postnatal week one was 6.1±2.0kPa, and increased significantly from one to week four (pairwise comparison, p<0.05) before decreasing significantly by week six (pairwise comparison, p<0.001). Stiffness changes were not directly correlated to histological observations. These data suggest that brain tissue shear modulus initially increases during a period equivalent to early childhood, and then decreases during a period equivalent to adolescence.

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