PROGRAM

LECTURE 1 - Mon 11 Apr 2016 from 9:00 to 12:15

INTRODUCTORY / REFRESHER ON QUANTUM MECHANICS AND ELECTROMAGNETISM

For a profound understanding of MRI physics and the hardware of an MRI scanner, a basic knowledge of quantum mechanics and electro-magnetism is required. In this lecture, a brief overview of some concepts in quantum mechanics and electro-magnetism will be given. Concepts covered are: the particle-wave duality, the double-slit experiment, the Schrödinger wave formulation, Dirac notation, the matrix-formalism, the expectation value, the angular momentum and spin operator, Maxwell equations, the law of Biot-Savart, macroscopic and microscopic theory of magnetism, electro-magnetic waves and transmission line theory.


LECTURE 2 - Mon 11 Apr 2016 from 13:15 to 16:30

NUCLEAR MAGNETISM: CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICAL MODEL

Two different models are used to describe the NMR signal generation: a classical model and a quantum mechanical model. We will follow the history of nuclear magnetic resonance in explaining the physical models that describe nuclear magnetism and spin precession. Some misconceptions on the origin of the NMR signal will be resolved. The levels of abstraction of the NMR models will be put into the context of their practical use.


LECTURE 3 - Mon 11 Apr 2016 from 16:45 to 18:00

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS AND EXERCISES

For the students that want, we will hold a questions and answers session and provide an exercise on nuclear magnetism to solve.


LECTURE 4 - Tue 12 Apr 2016 from 9:00 to 12:15

NUCLEAR SPIN INTERACTIONS

Nuclear spin interactions enable NMR spectroscopy and are responsible for the spin-lattice (T1) and spin-spin (T2) relaxation, the primary contrast mechanisms in MR images. Chemical shift, dipolar coupling and scalar coupling will be discussed. It will be demonstrated how these interactions can be described quantum mechanically. The use of these spin-interactions in NMR spectroscopy will be illustrated.


LECTURE 5 - Tue 12 Apr 2016 from 13:15 to 16:30

RELAXATION MECHANISMS

The image contrast in MR images is determined by several spin relaxation mechanisms such as the spin-lattice (T1) and spin-spin (T2) relaxation, magnetic susceptibility, chemical exchange and molecular self-diffusion. The molecular origin of relaxation mechanisms will be discussed. It will be shown how these relaxation mechanisms on the molecular scale relate to image contrast at the macroscopic scale of human MRI scans.


LECTURE 6 - Tue 12 Apr 2016 from 16:45 to 18:00

NMR SPECTROSCOPY DEMONSTRATION

For the students that are interested, we will bring a visit to the Macquarie University NMR/MRI physics laboratory and conduct a simple NMR spectroscopy and NMR relaxometry experiment, which illustrates some of the concepts discussed during the lectures. We will also demonstrate the use of a 0.5T benchtop NMR relaxometer to acquire T1 and T2 and perform an MRI experiment in the earth magnetic field with magnetic prepolarization.


LECTURE 7 - Wed 13 Apr 2016 from 9:00 to 12:15

MRI IMAGING PRINCIPLES

In this lecture, we focus on the spatial encoding of MR images. The concept and formalism of k-space will be discussed in detail. Different k-space sampling schemes such as spiral and radial sampling will be discussed. The ingredients of MRI pulse sequences include RF pulses and magnetic field gradients. The importance of signal sampling criteria will be demonstrated. The relation between signal intensity and sequence parameters will be derived for the spin echo sequence. This concept can also be applied to other imaging pulse sequence schemes. An alternative numerical concept to derive the signal intensity will be demonstrated.


LECTURE 8 - Wed 13 Apr 2016 from 13:15 to 16:30

MRI HARDWARE

MR imaging involves a large very homogenous magnetic field and a coordinated interplay of radiofrequency (RF) pulses and magnetic field gradients which are produced by RF coils and gradient coils respectively. In this lecture, we will focus on the hardware components of an MRI scanner. It will be shown how RF coils and gradient coils can be designed. The importance of impedance matching, tuning and transmit/receive switching will be discussed. Aspects of gradient uniformity and B1 field uniformity will be discussed.


LECTURE 9 - Wed 13 Apr 2016 from 16:45 to 18:00

MRI SAFETY AND HEALTH EFFECTS

MRI involves the use of low and high frequency electromagnetic fields. The safety of MRI has been a public debate. Possible interactions of static and alternating magnetic fields and radiofrequency electromagnetic pulses with the human body will be discussed. Some physical agents pose safety restrictions on current technological evolutions. We will focus on these sequence building blocks that need special consideration when designing your own imaging pulse sequence.


LECTURE 10 - Thu 14 Apr 2016 from 9:00 to 12:15

MRI SEQUENCE DESIGN I

In this lecture, we focus on the design of the elementary sequence building blocks such as RF pulses and magnetic field gradients. The use of special RF pulses and gradients in specific applications will be highlighted. Special attention will also be paid to motion artefacts and to motion compensation strategies.


LECTURE 11 - Thu 14 Apr 2016 from 13:15 to 16:30

MRI SEQUENCE DESIGN II

In this lecture, we will discuss some advanced imaging concepts such as applied for fast imaging and motion compensation. Metrics for image quality will be provided. Methods to acquire B0 and B1 fields for post-processing image correction, will be discussed and an overview of possible imaging artefacts will be given.


LECTURE 12 - Thu 14 Apr 2016 from 16:45 to 18:00

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS AND EXERCISES

For the students that want, we will hold a questions and answers session and provide an exercise on MRI pulse sequence design.


LECTURE 13 - Fri 15 Apr 2016 from 9:00 to 12:15

ADVANCED MRI APPLICATIONS I

Quantitative MRI techniques enable reliable and unique mapping of physiological properties. In this lecture, we focus on the mapping of spin-lattice (T1) and spin-spin (T2) relaxation rates, magnetization transfer, fat/water fractions, molecular self-diffusion quantities, flow velocity and blood perfusion using arterial spin labelling.


LECTURE 14 - Fri 15 Apr 2016 from 13:15 to 16:30

ADVANCED MRI APPLICATIONS II

Following on to previous lecture on quantitative MRI techniques, we will focus on dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) MRI, BOLD fMRI, MR thermometry and MR elastography. Finally, we will discuss in vivo MR spectroscopy for metabolic imaging. The quantitative aspects of metabolic imaging and profiling and the importance of adequate quality assurance are highlighted.


LECTURE 15 - Fri 15 Apr 2016 from 16:45 to 18:00

ADVANCED MRI APPLICATIONS III

The arsenal of MRI techniques can be extended to other nuclei than hydrogen protons, provided that they posess an odd number of protons or neutrons. Physiologicaly important atoms are phosphorus-31, fluorine-19 and sodium-23. Contrast agents can be designed that enable molecular specific or cellular targeting. Smart contrast agents can be designed of which the MRI properties are altered by the chemical or biological environment. Hyperpolarization can be applied to increase the receptivity of MRI with several orders of magnitude so that for instance the gas filling of the human lungs can be visualized. Hyperpolarized MRI also opens up new perspectives for molecular and dynamic metabolic imaging.



NOTE:

Minor changes may occur in the program depending on the interactions during the lectures.


Schedule / Refreshments

Lectures start at 9 am and finish at 6 pm from Monday to Friday with lunch provided from 12:15 - 13:15 and morning and afternoon tea with pastries from 10:30 - 10:45 am and 2:45 - 3 pm. Please do not forget to fill in any dietary requirements at the registration page.

At the end of the course, on Friday at 6:30 pm, we are happy to invite you to a Cocktail farewell function.