A High-Throughput, Arbitrary-Waveform, MPI Spectrometer and Relaxometer for Comprehensive Magnetic Particle Optimization and Characterization

Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 30;6:34180. doi: 10.1038/srep34180.


Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI) is a promising new tracer modality with zero attenuation deep in tissue, high contrast and sensitivity, and an excellent safety profile. However, the spatial resolution of MPI is limited to around 1 mm currently and urgently needs to be improved for clinical applications such as angiography and brain perfusion. Although MPI resolution is highly dependent on tracer characteristics and the drive waveforms, optimization is limited to a small subset of possible excitation strategies by current MPI hardware that only does sinusoidal drive waveforms at very few frequencies. To enable a more comprehensive and rapid optimization of drive waveforms for multiple metrics like resolution and signal strength simultaneously, we demonstrate the first untuned MPI spectrometer/relaxometer with unprecedented 400 kHz excitation bandwidth and capable of high-throughput acquisition of harmonic spectra (100 different drive-field frequencies in only 500 ms). It is also capable of arbitrary drive-field waveforms which have not been experimentally evaluated in MPI to date. Its high-throughput capability, frequency-agility and tabletop size makes this Arbitrary Waveform Relaxometer/Spectrometer (AWR) a convenient yet powerfully flexible tool for nanoparticle experts seeking to characterize magnetic particles and optimize MPI drive waveforms for in vitro biosensing and in vivo imaging with MPI.