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Experimental determination of pore shapes using phase retrieval from q-space NMR diffraction

K. Demberg, F. Laun, M. Bertleff, P. Bachert and T. Kuder

Physical review. E, 97, p.052412

This paper presents an approach to solving the phase problem in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) diffusion pore imaging, a method that allows imaging the shape of arbitrary closed pores filled with an NMR-detectable medium for investigation of the microstructure of biological tissue and porous materials. Classical q-space imaging composed of two short diffusion-encoding gradient pulses yields, analogously to diffraction experiments, the modulus squared of the Fourier transform of the pore image which entails an inversion problem: An unambiguous reconstruction of the pore image requires both magnitude and phase. Here the phase information is recovered from the Fourier modulus by applying a phase retrieval algorithm. This allows omitting experimentally challenging phase measurements using specialized temporal gradient profiles. A combination of the hybrid input-output algorithm and the error reduction algorithm was used with dynamically adapting support (shrinkwrap extension). No a priori knowledge on the pore shape was fed to the algorithm except for a finite pore extent. The phase retrieval approach proved successful for simulated data with and without noise and was validated in phantom experiments with well-defined pores using hyperpolarized xenon gas.

Contact: Dr. Frank Zöllner last modified: 30.09.2020
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