Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This review discusses ex vivo diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) as an important research tool for neuroanatomical investigations and the validation of in vivo dMRI techniques, with a focus on the human brain. We review the challenges posed by the properties of post-mortem tissue, and discuss state-of-the-art tissue preparation methods and recent advances in pulse sequences and acquisition techniques to tackle these. We then review recent ex vivo dMRI studies of the human brain, highlighting the validation of white matter orientation estimates and the atlasing and mapping of large subcortical structures. We also give particular emphasis to the delineation of layered gray matter structure with ex vivo dMRI, as this application illustrates the strength of its mesoscale resolution over large fields of view. We end with a discussion and outlook on future and potential directions of the field.

Original publication




Journal article


NMR Biomed

Publication Date



cortical layers, diffusion MRI, ex vivo, gray matter, validation, white matter