A concept for a magnetic particle imaging scanner with Halbach arrays

A. C. Bakenecker*, J. Schumacher, P. Blümler, K. Gräfe, M. Ahlborg, T. M. Buzug

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Magnetic particle imaging (MPI) is a new medical imaging technique visualizing the concentration distribution of superparamagnetic nanoparticles used as tracer material. MPI is not yet in clinical routine, since one of the challenges is the upscaling of scanners. Typically, the magnetic fields of MPI scanners are generated electromagnetically, resulting in an immense power consumption but providing high flexibility in terms of adjusting the field strengths and very fast image acquisition rates. Permanent magnets provide high flux densities and do not need any power supply. However, the flux density is not adjustable, and a mechanical movement is slow compared to electromagnetically varying fields. The MPI scanner concept proposed here uses permanent magnets and provides high flexibility, with the possibility to choose between fast overview scanning and detailed image acquisition. By mechanical rotation of magnetic rings in Halbach array configuration, it is possible to adjust the field or gradient strengths. The latter allows for determining the spatial resolution and the size of the field of view. A continuous mechanical rotation defines the coarseness of the scanning trajectory and image acquisition rate. This concept provides a comparable flexibility, as an alternating magnetic field and an adjustable field gradient can be applied as known from electromagnetically driven MPI systems, and therefore yields high potential for an enlarged system. We present the idea of an arrangement of Halbach arrays and how to calculate the generated magnetic fields. Simulations for an exemplary geometry are provided to show the potential of the proposed setup.

Original languageEnglish
Article number195014
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 07.10.2020


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