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Alte Nervenklinik Campus Charité Mitte

Research Group Boehm-Sturm

  • Experimental Neurology
  • Experimental Magnetic Resonance Imaging




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Philipp Boehm-Sturm, PhD

Center for Stroke Research Berlin and Department of Experimental Neurology

CCM: Campus Charité Mitte

Philipp Boehm-Sturm, PhD


Philipp Boehm-Sturm is a physicist focussing on the development of methods for magnetic resonance imaging for basic stroke research. His main interests are non-invasive imaging techniques in animal models of stroke to spatially and temporally illustrate important biological processes, such as underperfusion, vasogenic/cytotoxic cerebral oedema, atrophy, collateral vessels, angiogenesis, functional recovery or axonal plasticity after a stroke or after therapeutic intervention.

Selected publications

Low-Molecular-Weight Iron Chelates May Be an Alternative to Gadolinium-based Contrast Agents for T1-weighted Contrast-enhanced MR Imaging.
Boehm-Sturm P, Haeckel A, Hauptmann R, Mueller S, Kuhl CK, Schellenberger EA.
Radiology. 2018 Feb;286(2):537-546. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2017170116. Epub 2017 Sep 7.
PMID: 28880786         

Atlas registration for edema-corrected MRI lesion volume in mouse stroke models.
Koch S, Mueller S, Foddis M, Bienert T, von Elverfeldt D, Knab F, Farr TD, Bernard R, Dopatka M, Rex A, Dirnagl U, Harms C, Boehm-Sturm P.
J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2017 Jan 1:271678X17726635. doi: 10.1177/0271678X17726635. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 28829217        

Neuroimaging Biomarkers Predict Brain Structural Connectivity Change in a Mouse Model of Vascular Cognitive Impairment.
Boehm-Sturm P, Füchtemeier M, Foddis M, Mueller S, Trueman RC, Zille M, Rinnenthal JL, Kypraios T, Shaw L, Dirnagl U, Farr TD.
Stroke. 2017 Feb;48(2):468-475. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.116.014394. Epub 2017 Jan 9.
PMID: 28070001

Imaging early endothelial inflammation following stroke by core shell silica superparamagnetic glyconanoparticles that target selectin.
Farr TD, Lai CH, Grünstein D, Orts-Gil G, Wang CC, Boehm-Sturm P, Seeberger PH, Harms C.
Nano Lett. 2014;14(4):2130-4. doi: 10.1021/nl500388h. Epub 2014 Mar 5.
PMID: 24564342

A multi-modality platform to image stem cell graft survival in the naïve and stroke-damaged mouse brain.
Boehm-Sturm P, Aswendt M, Minassian A, Michalk S, Mengler L, Adamczak J, Mezzanotte L, Löwik C, Hoehn M.
Biomaterials. 2014 Feb;35(7):2218-26. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.11.085. Epub 2013 Dec 17.
PMID: 24355489

Non-invasive imaging of glioma vessel size and densities in correlation with tumour cell proliferation by small animal PET and MRI.
Viel T, Boehm-Sturm P, Rapic S, Monfared P, Neumaier B, Hoehn M, Jacobs AH.
Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2013 Oct;40(10):1595-606. doi: 10.1007/s00259-013-2464-1. Epub 2013 Jun 11.
PMID: 23754761

Vascular changes after stroke in the rat: a longitudinal study using optimized magnetic resonance imaging.
Boehm-Sturm P, Farr TD, Adamczak J, Jikeli JF, Mengler L, Wiedermann D, Kallur T, Kiselev V, Hoehn M. Contrast Media Mol Imaging. 2013 Sep-Oct;8(5):383-92. doi: 10.1002/cmmi.1534.
PMID: 23740808

In vivo tracking of human neural stem cells with 19F magnetic resonance imaging.
Boehm-Sturm P, Mengler L, Wecker S, Hoehn M, Kallur T. PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e29040. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029040. Epub 2011 Dec 28.
PMID: 22216163


Animal models are essential for basic biomedical stroke research. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) plays a major role both in clinics and in animal models, as it can spatially and temporally illustrate important biological processes in the same subject. For this purpose, the CSB has established a dedicated laboratory for MRIs in small animals. Research Group Boehm-Sturm mainly focuses on quantitative MRIs. Using biophysical models, these MRIs try to establish a link between measured MRI parameters (e.g. change of water diffusion after a stroke) and important biological parameters (e.g. cellular engorgement) to increase the validity of the MRI for stroke diagnosis, but also for therapy evaluation.

Most important projects

MRI of recovery after stroke
The aim is to study several neuroprotective therapies using quantitative MRIs in animal models.
The methods developed in this respect include:

  • Measurement of morphological changes in the brain using atlas registration (voxel- / deformation-based morphometry)
  • Mapping behavioural data onto imaging data, e.g. lesion-symptom mapping, to explore the structural causes of recovery after stroke
  • Measurement of tissue oxygen saturation using 19F MRI
  • Measurement of changes in the structural and functional connectivity using DTI and resting state MRI  

MRI of vascular function
The aim is to characterise the blood flow and vascular changes in animal models after a stroke using contrast-enhanced MRIs (high-resolution angiography and DCE MRI). Investigations include the effects of therapies that stimulate vascular growth on the blood-brain barrier, cerebral blood flow and vascular density.

New contrast agents for MRIs
We use animal models of stroke to investigate, for example:

  • Iron-based contrast agents for DCE MRIs with a potentially improved long-term toxicity as an alternative to gadolinium-based contrast agents
  • Calcium-sensitive contrast agents for functional MRIs
  • Iron oxide- and fluorine 19-based contrast agents to show inflammation

Further projects

  • MRIs of changes in tissue morphology and structural and functional connectivity in post-traumatic stress disorder
  • MR Biomarker of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss – Investigation of Neurodegeneration, Connectivity and Neurotransmitter Metabolism in the Central Auditory System of the Mouse
  • EPIC-3R: Experimental and Preclinical Imaging Cluster to support 3R in basic and translational research at the Charité
  • Strokevision: Deep learning based segmentation of stroke lesions on MR images


  • Dipl.-Ing. Susanne Mueller
    technical director Core Facility "7T experimental MRI"
  • Marco Foddis
    technical assistant
  • Dr. Stefan Paul Koch
    research associate
  • Graham Cooper, MSc
    PhD candidate
  • Víctor Giménez Esbrí
    PhD candidate
  • Jee Hye An, BSc
    student assistant