Glossary of Terms




  • Machine Learning (ML)

    An approach to AI in which a computer algorithm (a set of rules and procedures) is developed to analyze and make predictions from data that is fed into the system. Machine learning-based technologies are routinely used every day, such as personalized news feeds and traffic prediction maps.
  • Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE)

    A special MRI technique to capture snapshots of shear waves that move through the tissue and create “elastograms” or images that show tissue stiffness. MRE is used to non-invasively detect hardening of the liver caused by chronic liver disease. MRE also has the potential to diagnose diseases in other parts of the body.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

    A non-invasive imaging technology used to investigate anatomy and function of the body in both health and disease without the use of damaging ionizing radiation. It is often used for disease detection, diagnosis, and treatment monitoring. It is based on sophisticated technology that excites and detects changes in protons found in the water that makes up living tissues.
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS)

    A non-invasive analytic imaging technique used to study metabolic changes in diseases affecting the brain, including tumors, strokes, and seizures. The technique is also used to study the metabolism of other organs. MRS complements MRI as a non-invasive means for the characterization of tissue, by providing measure of the concentration of different chemical components within the tissue.
  • Mammography

    An X-ray imaging method used to image the breast for the early detection of cancer and other breast diseases. It is used as both a diagnostic and screening tool.
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells

    A term used to define non-blood adult stem cells from a variety of tissues. However, it is not clear whether mesenchymal stem cells from different tissues are the same.
  • mHealth

    An abbreviation for mobile health, which is the practice of medicine and public health supported with mobile devices such as mobile phones for health services and information.
  • Microbubbles

    Microscopic, preformed bubbles composed of varying materials that enable widespread applications. One application of microbubbles in medicine is as a contrast agent to help obtain clearer ultrasound images.
  • Microfluidics

    A multidisciplinary field including engineering, physics, chemistry and biotechnology involving the design of systems for the precise control and manipulation of fluids on a small, sub-millimeter scale. Typically fluids are moved, mixed, separated or processed in various ways.
  • Microparticle

    Particles between 0.1 and 100 m in size. A m is a micrometer, which is one-millionth of a meter. Man-made microparticles include ceramics, glass, polymers and metals. In biological systems, microparticles are small membrane- bound vesicles derived from cells circulating in the bloodstream. Microparticles are generally 1000 times larger than nanoparticles.
  • Microscopy

    Using microscopes to view samples and objects that cannot be seen with the unaided eye.
  • Microvasculature

    The microvasculature is composed of networks of small blood vessels within tissues, downstream from arteries and upstream from veins, wherein blood and tissues exchange important gases, such as oxygen, and nutrients.
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery

    A surgical procedure typically utilizing one or more small incisions through which laparoscopic surgical tools are inserted and manipulated by a surgeon. Minimally invasive surgery can reduce damage to surrounding healthy tissue, decrease the need for pain medication, and reduce patient recovery time.
  • Molecular Imaging

    A discipline that involves the visualization of molecular processes and cellular functions in living organisms. With the inclusion of a biomarker, which interacts chemically with tissues and structures of interest, many imaging techniques can be used for molecular imaging including ultrasound, x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, optical imaging, positron emission tomography, and single photon emission computed tomography.
  • Morphometry

    The measurement of the form of living systems or their parts. In medicine, morphometry is often used to study changes in brain structure during development, aging and in response to disease. Researchers can measure anatomical features of the brain in terms of shape, mass and volume and derive various measures such as grey matter density and white matter connectivity using neuroimaging techniques and neuroinformatics.
  • Multiphoton Microscopy

    An imaging technique that uses two or three-photon excitation of a fluorophore in a specimen. Fluorescence occurs when two or more photons of excitation light are absorbed by the specimen at the same time. Because excitation occurs only where photons coincide, there is reduced phototoxicity and photobleaching and greater depth penetration. Because of the reduced toxicity, the method is ideal for imaging living specimens especially when deep imaging is required.
  • Multiscale Modeling

    Multiscale modeling uses mathematics and computation to quantitatively represent and simulate a system at more than one scale while functionally linking the mathematical models across these scales. Biological and behavioral scales include atomic, molecular, molecular complexes, sub-cellular, cellular, multi-cell systems, tissue, organ, multi-organ systems, organism/individual, group, organization, market, environment, and populations.