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Vasileios Zampetoulas

Ultra-low field effects in Fast Field-Cycling MRI

Introduction

I graduated from the Technological Educational Institute of Athens with a BSc Degree in Medical Instruments Technology. After a few years of working in private companies associated with technical support and promotion of medical equipment I pursued further studies at the University of Aberdeen from where I graduated with an MSc Degree in Medical Physics in 2013.


Research

I am currently undertaking a PhD in the MRI research group of the University of Aberdeen that pioneers in Fast Field-Cycling (FFC) MRI techniques under the supervision of Professor David Lurie and Dr. Lionel Broche.


FFC NMR and MRI techniques involve the change of the applied magnetic field B0 to different levels, allowing for the measurement of the T1 relaxation time over a range of fields. The results from this process are shown as graphs which plot the dispersion of T1 versus the applied field (known as T1-dispersion curves) and can be used for the investigation of the range of molecular motions that take place in the examined tissues1.


My PhD project is focused on the extension of the acquired T1-dispersion curves to magnetic fields lower than 10 kHz 1H Larmor Frequency (235 μT). This is expected to provide information about the slowest molecular motions that take place in the examined tissue and form the basis of new types of contrast. My project involves the development and application of a calibration technique applied on a Stelar SMARtracer FFC relaxometer (Stelar S.r.l., Italy), a bench-top commercial scanner which applies FFC NMR techniques on samples of about 1mL. This is necessary for the compensation of the environmental magnetic fields, arising from the Earth and electrical equipment in proximity to the relaxometer, that corrupt attempts to apply FFC measurements below 10 kHz. The calibration has been applied succesfully and has allowed for the extension of the acquired T1-dispersion curves to magnetic fields of 100 Hz (2.3 μT). My current work involves experimentation on a range of biological samples taken from healthy and diseased tissue of animals (adipose tissue and liver of mice) and humans (liver, cartilage, colon, lung, meniscus), and analysis of the curves acquired at both low anf high fields to identify differences and thus contrast between differrent tissues.


Future work involves the translation of the calibration to our whole-body FFC MRI 0.2 T scanner for the application (amongst other techniques) of NMR relaxometry on selected regions of the body and acquisition of T1-weghted images at ultra-low magnetic fields.


Conferences and Workshops

ESMRMB Congress 2016, Vienna

SINAPSE Annual Scientific Meeting 2016, Stirling

ISMRM Annual Meeting 2016, Singapore

Institute of Medical Sciences Winter/Spring Symposium 2016, University of Aberdeen

CDT 3rd year conference 2016, Southampton

ESMRMB Congress 2015, Edinburgh

British Chapter of ISMRM Annual Scientific Meeting 2015, London

Fast Field-Cycling NMR Relaxometry Conference 2015, Aberdeen

SINAPSE Annual Scientific Meeting 2015, Aberdeen

ISMRM Annual Meeting 2015, Toronto

British Chapter of ISMRM Annual Postgraduate Meeting 2015, London

CDT Training Workshop and Research Conference 2015, Warwick

CDT seminar 2014, Nottingham

British Chapter of ISMRM 2014, Edinburgh

AMPERE NMR School 2014, Poland

9-month Symposium 2014, University of Aberdeen

SINAPSE Annual Scientific Meeting 2014, Edinburgh


Reference

1. Lurie DJ, Aime S, Baroni S, Booth NA, Broche LM, Choi C-H, DaviesGR, Ismail S, Hogain D, Pine KJ. Fast field-cycling magnetic resonance imaging. Comptes Rendus Physique 2010;11:136–148.Available at: http://aura.abdn.ac.uk/bitstream/2164/2089/1/lurie_et_al_fast_field_cycling_MRI_comptes_rendus_physique_2010_.pdf


Contact Details

Biomedical Physics Building
Foresterhill
University of Aberdeen
AB25 2ZD
Tel.: +44 (0)1224 559411
Email: v.zampetoulas@abdn.ac.uk
FFC-MRI website: www.ffc-mri.org