This paper investigates the use of Optimal Control (OC) theory to design Radio-Frequency (RF) pulses that actively control the spatial distribution of the MRI magnetization phase. The RF pulses are generated through the application of the Pontryagin Maximum Principle and optimized so that the resulting transverse magnetization reproduces various non-trivial and spatial phase patterns. Two different phase patterns are defined and the resulting optimal pulses are tested both numerically with the ODIN MRI simulator and experimentally with an agar gel phantom on a 4.7 T small-animal MR scanner. Phase images obtained in simulations and experiments are both consistent with the defined phase patterns. A practical application of phase control with OC-designed pulses is also presented, with the generation of RF pulses adapted for a Magnetic Resonance Elastography experiment. This study demonstrates the possibility to use OC-designed RF pulses to encode information in the magnetization phase and could have applications in MRI sequences using phase images.
This article presents a new motion encoding strategy to perform magnetic resonance elastography (MRE). Instead of using standard motion encoding gradients, a tailored RF pulse is designed to simultaneously perform selective excitation and motion encoding in presence of a constant gradient. The RF pulse is designed with a numerical optimal control algorithm, in order to obtain a magnetization phase distribution that depends on the displacement characteristics inside each voxel. As a consequence, no postexcitation encoding gradients are required. This offers numerous advantages, such as reducing eddy current artifacts, and relaxing the constraint on the gradients maximum switch rate. It also allows to perform MRE with ultra-short TE acquisition schemes, which limits T2 decay and optimizes signal-to-noise ratio. The pulse design strategy is developed and analytically analyzed to clarify the encoding mechanism. Finally, simulations, phantom and ex vivo experiments show that phase-to-noise ratios are improved when compared to standard MRE encoding strategies.
This study aims at evaluating Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE) as a reliable technique for the characterization of viscoelastic properties of soft tissues. Three phantoms with different concentrations of plastisol and softener were prepared in order to mechanically mimic a broad panel of healthy and pathological soft tissues. Once placed in a MRI device, each sample was excited by a homemade external driver, inducing shear waves within the medium. The storage (G’) and loss (G’’) moduli of each phantom were then reconstructed from MRE acquisitions over a frequency range from 300 to 1,000 Hz, by applying a 2D Helmholtz inversion algorithm. At the same time, mechanical tests were performed on four samples of each phantom with a High-Frequency piezo-Rheometer (HFR) over an overlapping frequency range (from 160 to 630 Hz) with the same test conditions (temperature, ageing). The comparison between both techniques shows a good agreement in the measurement of the storage and loss moduli, underlying the capability of MRE to noninvasively assess the complex shear modulus G* of a medium and its interest for investigating the viscoelastic properties of living tissues. Moreover, the phantoms with varying concentrations of plastisol used in this study show interesting rheological properties, which make them good candidates to simulate the broad variety of viscoelastic behaviors of healthy and pathological soft tissues.
In Inertia Drive Motors, generated motion is based on stick-slip principle. Current analytical models are predictive enough to calculate qualitatively their optimal performances, such as maximal step size and speed, with relatively few input parameters. Butn they do not take into account the contact life and temporal evolution of parameters as friction factor all along lifetime of IDM. So analytical models reach their limitswhen precise predictions are necessary.
To introduce in vivo multifrequency single‐shot magnetic resonance elastography for full‐FOV stiffness mapping of the mouse brain and to compare in vivo stiffness of neural tissues with different white‐to‐gray matter ratios. Brain mechanical properties influence many vital neurological functions including brain development, metabolism, and tissue repair. However, studying brain mechanical properties in a noninvasive fashion encounters a number of challenges including the fact that the brain is protected by the skull as well as the heterogeneous and complex geometry of the brain. At present, magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is the sole modality allowing noninvasive measurement of in vivo brain mechanical properties in patients and small animals.
In Inertia Drive Motors, generated motion is based on stick-slip principle. Current analytical models are predictive enough to calculate qualitatively their optimal performances, such as maximal step size and speed, with relatively few input parameters. But, they do not take into account the contact life and temporal evolution of parameters as friction factor all along lifetime of IDM. So, analytical models reach their limits when precise predictions are necessary. This investigation aims at understand wear mechanisms to model temporal evolution of friction. Such an understanding requires the reconstitution of the contact life through the evaluation of 1st and 3rd body flows. To do so, a new IDM-representative tribometer is designed. First bodies - coated TA6V and polymer - are not see-through. They are replaced alternatively by an intermediate transparent first body to observe the contact dynamically and in-situ. Friction factor, step size and mean speed are also measured. Preliminary results shows that wear profiles from real IDM and tribometer are similar. Direct observations bring out particles of TA6V coating are firstly snatched, then moves in contact and finally trigs others particle detachments.
In vivo, non-invasive measurements of the stiffness (elastic modulus) of biological tissue can be performed with magnetic resonance elastography (MRE). Many studies have illustrated the versatility of MRE; stiffness estimates have been obtained from liver, muscle, breast, brain and heart. Tissue health or disease is often indicated by its stiffness. In many cases tissue health is determined through invasive biopsy, which can subject the patient to discomfort and various risks. Non-invasive procedures, such as palpation, are qualitative, suffer from patient-to-patient variability, and are impossible in deep tissue. Furthermore, these measurements often only provide results in localized regions. However, with the continued development of MRE equipment and protocols, regional non-invasive measures of stiffness are becoming feasible in most soft tissues. In this study we demonstrate the measurement of loss and storage modulus of vitreous humor of the mouse eye using MR elastography non-invasively, in vivo.
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