• Source: Scopus
19972021

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Research interests

Dr. Zheng's research interest has been on the cardiovascular imaging applications using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) modality, particularly on the cardiac MRI (CMR). The ability of cardiac MRI for both anatomic and physiology functional imaging in the same study session on the heart has shown enormous clinical applications as a noninvasive alternative to conventional invasive cardiac procedures such as x-ray angiography. However, significant hurdles remain for cardiac MRI due to the nature of data acquisition and the complex structure of the beating heart. To develop reliable diagnostic imaging tools for cardiac MRI, Dr. Zheng's research areas include the following: *Myocardial perfusion and oxygenation imaging. The current ongoing projects include quantification of myocardial oxygen extraction ratio (OEF) and oxygen consumption (MVO2) as a function of myocardial blood volume and flow using BOLD effects. One important application is the repeatable measurements of myocardial flow reserve without use of any exogenous contrast agents. Another application is the direct measurement of MVO2 in patients with diabetes and obesity. * Dr. Zheng's group is the first to develop 17O-labelled agent to quantify MVO2 in vivo. The ability to directly assess oxygen metbolism opens another venue to investigate the pathophysiology of the heart. *Characterization of atherosclerotic plaque. The current research program collaborates with Dr. Dalin Tang at Worchester Polytechnic Institute, with both morphology and biomechanical features. The current research program colalborates with Dr. Dalin Tang at Worchester Polytechnic Institute, Department of Pathology, and Mechanical Engineering to investigate the MR image contrast and mechanical properties for both stable and ruptured coronary artery and carotid artery plaques. This provides valuable information on further research of in vivo detection of plaque burden using noninvasive MRI.

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