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Lecture# Self-diffusion and the MR signal

Description

This lecture covers the influence of self-diffusion on the MR signal in biomedical imaging, explaining concepts such as the self-diffusion coefficient, root mean square displacement, and the effect of random motion on magnetization phase. It also delves into the mathematical description of how diffusion affects the MR signal, including factors like the strength of the diffusion process, delay between dephasing and rephasing gradients, and the area of the dephasing gradient.

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Diffusion

Diffusion is the net movement of anything (for example, atoms, ions, molecules, energy) generally from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration. Diffusion is driven by a gradient in Gibbs free energy or chemical potential. It is possible to diffuse "uphill" from a region of lower concentration to a region of higher concentration, like in spinodal decomposition. Diffusion is a stochastic process due to the inherent randomness of the diffusing entity and can be used to model many real-life stochastic scenarios.

Molecular diffusion

Molecular diffusion, often simply called diffusion, is the thermal motion of all (liquid or gas) particles at temperatures above absolute zero. The rate of this movement is a function of temperature, viscosity of the fluid and the size (mass) of the particles. Diffusion explains the net flux of molecules from a region of higher concentration to one of lower concentration. Once the concentrations are equal the molecules continue to move, but since there is no concentration gradient the process of molecular diffusion has ceased and is instead governed by the process of self-diffusion, originating from the random motion of the molecules.

Fick's laws of diffusion

Fick's laws of diffusion describe diffusion and were first posited by Adolf Fick in 1855 on the basis of largely experimental results. They can be used to solve for the diffusion coefficient, D. Fick's first law can be used to derive his second law which in turn is identical to the diffusion equation. A diffusion process that obeys Fick's laws is called normal or Fickian diffusion; otherwise, it is called anomalous diffusion or non-Fickian diffusion.

Knudsen diffusion

In physics, Knudsen diffusion, named after Martin Knudsen, is a means of diffusion that occurs when the scale length of a system is comparable to or smaller than the mean free path of the particles involved. An example of this is in a long pore with a narrow diameter (2–50 nm) because molecules frequently collide with the pore wall. As another example, consider the diffusion of gas molecules through very small capillary pores.

Magnetization

In classical electromagnetism, magnetization is the vector field that expresses the density of permanent or induced magnetic dipole moments in a magnetic material. Movement within this field is described by direction and is either Axial or Diametric. The origin of the magnetic moments responsible for magnetization can be either microscopic electric currents resulting from the motion of electrons in atoms, or the spin of the electrons or the nuclei. Net magnetization results from the response of a material to an external magnetic field.

Fundamentals of Biomedical Imaging: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Learn about magnetic resonance, from the physical principles of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) to the basic concepts of image reconstruction (MRI).

Fundamentals of Biomedical Imaging: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Learn about magnetic resonance, from the physical principles of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) to the basic concepts of image reconstruction (MRI).