Study of Lorentz Effect Imaging and Neuronal Current MRI Using Electromagnetohydrodynamic Models
Neuronal current MRI (ncMRI) is a field of study to directly map electrical activity in the brain using MRI, which has many benefits over functional MRI. One potential ncMRI method, Lorentz effect imaging (LEI), has shown promise but needs a better theoretical understanding to improve its use.
We develop three computational models to simulate the LEI experiments of an electrolyte filled phantom subject to a current dipole based on: ion flow, particle drift, and electromagnetohydrodynamics (EMHD). With comparative experimental results, we use the EMHD model to better understand the Lorentz effect over a range of current strengths. We also quantify the LEI experimental images and assess ways to measure the underlying current strength, which would greatly benefit comparative brain mapping.
EMHD is a good predictor of LEI signal loss. We can measure the underlying current strength and polarity in the phantom using LEI images. We can also use trends from the EMHD model results to predict the required current density for signal detection in future LEI experiments. We can also infer the electric field strength, flow velocity, displacement, and pressure from the predicted current magnitude in an LEI experiment.
The EMHD model provides information that greatly improves the utility and understanding of LEI. Future study with our EMHD model should be performed using shorter dipole lengths, higher density and lower strength of current sources, and varying current source frequencies to understand LEI in the setting of mapping brain activity.
functional magnetic resonance imaging
Lorentz effect imaging
neuronal current MRI
oscillating magnetic field gradients
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