Optimal experimental design for biophysical modelling in multidimensional diffusion MRI

13 Jul 2019  ·  Coelho Santiago, Pozo Jose M., Jespersen Sune N., Frangi Alejandro F. ·

Computational models of biophysical tissue properties have been widely used in diffusion MRI (dMRI) research to elucidate the link between microstructural properties and MR signal formation. For brain tissue, the research community has developed the so-called Standard Model (SM) that has been widely used... However, in clinically applicable acquisition protocols, the inverse problem that recovers the SM parameters from a set of MR diffusion measurements using pairs of short pulsed field gradients was shown to be ill-posed. Multidimensional dMRI was shown to solve this problem by combining linear and planar tensor encoding data. Given sufficient measurements, multiple choices of b-tensor sets provide enough information to estimate all SM parameters. However, in the presence of noise, some sets will provide better results. In this work, we develop a framework for optimal experimental design of multidimensional dMRI sequences applicable to the SM. This framework is based on maximising the determinant of the Fisher information matrix, which is averaged over the full SM parameter space. This averaging provides a fairly objective information metric tailored for the expected signal but that only depends on the acquisition configuration. The optimisation of this metric can be further restricted to any subclass of desirable design constraints like, for instance, hardware-specific constraints. In this work, we compute the optimal acquisitions over the set of all b-tensors with fixed eigenvectors. read more

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Medical Physics Biological Physics