Quantitative MRI (qMRI)
In contrast to conventional MRI, where the goal is to acquire image data with different weightings and contrasts, qMRI aims at the direct measurement of tissue parameters. Several techniques for the fast and reliable mapping of various parameters such as the relaxation times T1, T2 and T2* and the proton density (PD) have been developed. These methods are currently being employed in several projects, in particular in studies on Parkinson patients or for the investigation of normal appearing brain tissue in Multiple Sclerosis.
Creation of synthetic anatomies
Based on parameter maps acquired with qMRI techniques, anatomical data sets with arbitrary contrasts can be calculated. The advantage is that these data sets are free from inhomogeneities imposed by non-uniform sensitivity profiles of the radio frequency coils. In particular, contrasts in synthetic anatomies can be considerably better than in conventional data sets. As an example, the elimination of PD weighting from T1 weighted data enhances the visibility of deep brain structures. In a patient study it could be shown that the same concept leads to marked contrast enhancement between brain tumours, edema and healthy tissue.
fMRI sequence development
Several fMRI techniques have been developed for special applications. Examples are: fMRI techniques with reduced distortions and signal losses for investigating brain areas affected by magnetic field inhomogeneities, silent and sparse sampling strategies for experiments that involve acoustic stimuli, combination of fMRI and EEG.