Imaging electric properties of biological tissues by RF field mapping in MRI

Xiaotong Zhang, Shanan Zhu, Bin He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The electric properties (EPs) of biological tissue, i.e., the electric conductivity and permittivity, can provide important information in the diagnosis of various diseases. The EPs also play an important role in specific absorption rate calculation, a major concern in high-field MRI, as well as in nonmedical areas such as wireless telecommunications. The high-field MRI system is accompanied by significant wave propagation effects, and the RF radiation is dependent on the EPs of biological tissue. On the basis of the measurement of the active transverse magnetic component of the applied RF field (known as B1-mapping technique), we propose a dual-excitation algorithm, which uses two sets of measured B1 data to noninvasively reconstruct the EPs of biological tissues. The finite-element method was utilized in 3-D modeling and B1 field calculation. A series of computer simulations were conducted to evaluate the feasibility and performance of the proposed method on a 3-D head model within a TEM coil and a birdcage coil. Using a TEM coil, when noise free, the reconstructed EP distribution of tissues in the brain has relative errors of 12%28% and correlated coefficients of greater than 0.91. Compared with other B1-mapping-based reconstruction algorithms, our approach provides superior performance without the need for iterative computations. The present simulation results suggest that good reconstruction of EPs from B1 mapping can be achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5405651
Pages (from-to)474-481
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received October 02, 2009; revised November 06, 2009; accepted November 06, 2009. Current version published February 03, 2010. This work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under Grant R21EB006070 and Grant R01EB007920, in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 50577055, by the National Science Foundation under Grant BES-0602957, and in part by the Supercomputing Institute of the University of Minnesota. The work of X. T. Zhang was supported by the Lu’s Postgraduate Education International Exchange Fund of Zhejiang University. Asterisk indicates corresponding author.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • B-mapping
  • Electric properties (EPs)
  • Electrical impedance imaging
  • Magnetic resonance electric properties tomography (MREPT)

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