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

Xiaotong Zhang, Shanan Zhu, Bin He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 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


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

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