An original, remotely controlled set-up for studying in vitro digestion by MRI – application to bread - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Conference Poster Year : 2024

An original, remotely controlled set-up for studying in vitro digestion by MRI – application to bread


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has demonstrated its efficacy in characterizing food properties, offering great potential for quantitatively monitoring digestion. If MRI is a technique of choice for monitoring in vivo digestion, we believe in its great potential for in vitro exploration to provide insights into the composition and multi-scale structure of ingested foods; we are also expecting contributions to the in vivo approach, in terms of signal interpretation and proposals for innovative acquisition sequences. The objectives of this study were to develop a set-up compatible with a whole body MRI scanner to investigate oral-gastric-intestinal food digestion without human intervention in the MRI room, and to use this set-up to gain spatial insights via high-resolution MRI scans into the digestion mechanism of bread structure. The set-up comprises a compartment (referred to as 'cell') that can suit a wrist radiofrequency receive coil for MRI measurements and contain a ~ 1.5 cm wide food piece to be digested. Connected to the cell, another compartment, 'vessel’, is positioned outside the MRI room, linked through a circulating loop controlled by a peristaltic pump (flow rate: 8.4 mL/min). All the manipulations occurred in the vessel. Both the cell and vessel were equipped with water jackets to maintain temperature at 37 °C. The set-up underwent examination for temperature regulation and mixing, in particular for composition homogeneity between compartments. Subsequently, oral-gastric-intestinal digestion of a piece of bread crumb was conducted, with the bread installed in the cell. Manual control and sampling took place in the vessel, while MRI acquisitions, including Multi Spin-Echo and Ultra Short TE (UTE) sequences (for T2 mapping and morphology), were performed. Results demonstrated the set-up enabled the successful execution of digestion, with rapid mass transfer and mixing (complete renewal of the fluid in the cell in 4 min; pH and hydrolysed starch concentrations matching in the cell and vessel) and effective temperature regulation. MRI scans provided internal insights, quantitatively measuring bread piece erosion, pore changes, and local composition during digestion. The degradation level obtained from MRI aligned with the degree of digestion determined through analysis of peptides and hydrolysed starch in the digesta. The present study demonstrated the feasibility of monitoring real-time digestion in a set-up with two separate, potentially distant compartments, facilitated by the circulation of the digestion fluid, which ensures the continuous renewal of the fluid around the food cube. High-resolution MRI images acquired using this set-up offer spatial visualization of bread degradation. The developed setup holds promise for various applications on other foods, providing comprehensive insights into structure changes during digestion.
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Dates and versions

hal-04547092 , version 1 (15-04-2024)


  • HAL Id : hal-04547092 , version 1


Ruoxuan Deng, Steven Le Feunteun, Yves Y. Diascorn, Guylaine Collewet, Sylvain S. Challois, et al.. An original, remotely controlled set-up for studying in vitro digestion by MRI – application to bread. 8th International Conference on FOOD DIGESTION, Apr 2024, Porto, Portugal. , 2024. ⟨hal-04547092⟩
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