In-body Imaging and the GI Response to Foods

In-body Imaging and the GI Response to Foods

We specialise in imaging gastrointestinal function and the physiological response to food and drinks in humans using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) methods in conjunction with other physiological and behavioural techniques. We are interested in studying both healthy physiology and patophysiology in diverse patient groups including IBS, IBD, Coeliac Disease, Diverticular Disease, NAFLD and obesity. Our work has developed over the years within a long standing collaboration between the Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre, its NIHR-funded Nottingham Digestive Diseases Biomedical Research Unit and the Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Imaging Centre (now one of the largest, physics-based MRI research centres in the world). Our team has developed a unique cross-disciplinary collaboration between gastroenterologists, surgeons, physiologists, MRI physicists, food scientists, sensory scientists and industrial collaborators from the food and pharmaceutical industries in the UK and abroad.

Current projects:

Current interests includes non invasive, in-body imaging of the fate of foods and drinks in the gastrointestinal tract, organ function, mechanisms of satiety, gut peptides response to nutrients, blood flow, liver function, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) of liver fat and hepatic energy metabolites and interactions between the gut and the brain including fMRI of taste, aroma, oral fat and appetite regulation apthways. We have several state-of-the-art, fully research dedicated whole-body human MRI scanners. Examples of industrial collaborations include imaging intragastric gelation of alginates, effect of cholesterol-lowering yogurts on gallbladder contraction and effect of meal-replacement shakes, aerated drinks and fat emulsions microstructure on satiety.

Potential for collaborative projects:

Our unique expertise can help understanding mode of action of novel food and drink ingredients and products ahead of larger and expensive human studies; we can visualise non-invasively gastrointestinal behaviour of products; we can carry out clinical trials to support claims for diet and health.

Key team members (PIs):

Dr Luca Marciani (MRI, In-body imaging of foods, satiety)

Dr Gordon Moran (Gut-brain axis and appetite regulation)

Professor Robin Spiller (Neurogastroenterology)

Professor Guru Aithal (Liver)

Professor Dileep Lobo (Enteral and parenteral nutrition, preoperative products, fluid management)

Professor Penny Gowland and Dr Susan Francis (MRI, Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre)

Administrative contact:

Emma Bradley

Tel: +44 (0)115 8231 090


Maria Matthews

Tel: +44 (0) 115 9249 924 ext 63822