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Magnetic resonance images (MRI) that depict rates of water diffusion in tissues can be used to characterize the cellularity of tumors and are valuable in assessing their early response to treatment. Water diffusion rates are sensitive to the cellular and molecular content of tissues and are affected by local microstructural changes associated with tumor development. However, conventional maps of water diffusion reflect the integrated effects of restrictions to free diffusion at multiple scales up to a specific limiting spatial dimension, typically several micrometers. Such measurements cannot distinguish effects caused by structural variations at a smaller scale. Variations in diffusion rates then largely reflect variations in the density of cells, and no information is available about changes on a subcellular scale. We report here our experiences using a new approach based on Oscillating Gradient Spin-Echo (OGSE) MRI methods that can differentiate the influence on water diffusion of structural changes on scales much smaller than the diameter of a single cell. MRIs of glioblastomas in rat brain in vivo show an increased contrast and spatial heterogeneity when diffusion measurements are selectively sensitized to shorter distance scales. These results show the benefit of OGSE methods for revealing microscopic variations in tumors in vivo and confirm that diffusion measurements depend on factors other than cellularity.