Magnetoacoustic tomography with magnetic induction (MAT-MI) for imaging electrical conductivity of biological tissue: A tutorial review

Xu Li, Kai Yu, Bin He

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Magnetoacoustic tomography with magnetic induction (MAT-MI) is a noninvasive imaging method developed to map electrical conductivity of biological tissue with millimeter level spatial resolution. In MAT-MI, a time-varying magnetic stimulation is applied to induce eddy current inside the conductive tissue sample. In the presence of a static magnetic field, the Lorentz force acting on the induced eddy current drives mechanical vibrations producing detectable ultrasound signals. These ultrasound signals can then be acquired to reconstruct a map related to the sample's electrical conductivity contrast. This work reviews fundamental ideas of MAT-MI and major techniques developed in recent years. First, the physical mechanisms underlying MAT-MI imaging are described, including the magnetic induction and Lorentz force induced acoustic wave propagation. Second, experimental setups and various imaging strategies for MAT-MI are reviewed and compared, together with the corresponding experimental results. In addition, as a recently developed reverse mode of MAT-MI, magneto-acousto-electrical tomography with magnetic induction is briefly reviewed in terms of its theory and experimental studies. Finally, we give our opinions on existing challenges and future directions for MAT-MI research. With all the reported and future technical advancement, MAT-MI has the potential to become an important noninvasive modality for electrical conductivity imaging of biological tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R249-R270
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number18
StatePublished - Aug 19 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health under Grant EB014353, EB017069, and U01 HL117664 and in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant CBET-1450956, and CBET-1264782.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.


  • Lorentz force
  • MAT-MI
  • bioimpedance
  • conductivity
  • imaging
  • magnetoacoustic tomography with magnetic induction


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