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DFG grant awarded for the development of a novel image acquisition and model-based reconstruction method

4th May 2020

INM4 has been awarded a DFG grant for the development of a novel image acquisition and model-based reconstruction method. The new method will enable fast, accurate and robust multiparametric quantitative MRI (qMRI) at ultra-high field strength.

Multiparametric qMRI is becoming of significant medical interest as it can be used by doctors to identify cerebral abnormalities associated with many diseases, such as stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, without the need for invasive investigation. However, current techniques are time-consuming.

With the exception of a short preparation scan to map the transmit field inhomogeneity, B1+, the proposed approach consists only of a single magnetization-prepared multi-gradient-echo acquisition. The data is jointly reconstructed using a novel spatiotemporal compressed sensing based method, thereby making optimal use of all acquired data, with the aim to keep the acquisition time as short as possible. Based on our previous work, we estimate to yield parametric maps with resolutions of 1 mm3 and full brain coverage within a total acquisition time of below 10 minutes.

The proposed sampling pattern is based on a golden angle radial acquisition, which is expected to be highly motion robust and allows termination of the acquisition at any time with only a loss in image resolution but still fully usable data. This is in contrast to existing methods, which are often sensitive to patient motion and where a premature termination can lead to a complete loss of data.

The project is anticipated to take 12 months and the grant provides funding for a PhD student to work on the project alongside two other experienced researchers.