The influence of molecular order and microstructure on the R2* and the magnetic susceptibility tensor
Diffusion Tensor Imaging
In this work, we demonstrate that in the presence of ordered sub-voxel structure such as tubular organization, biomaterials with molecular isotropy exhibits only apparent R2* anisotropy, while biomaterials with molecular anisotropy exhibit both apparent R2* and susceptibility anisotropy by mean of susceptibility tensor imaging (STI). To this end, R2* and STI from gradient echo magnitude and phase data were examined in phantoms made from carbon fiber and Gadolinium (Gd) solutions with and without intrinsic molecular order and sub-voxel structure as well as in the in vivo brain. Confidence in the tensor reconstructions was evaluated with a wild bootstrap analysis. Carbon fiber showed both apparent anisotropy in R2* and anisotropy in STI, while the Gd filled capillary tubes only showed apparent anisotropy on R2*. Similarly, white matter showed anisotropic R2* and magnetic susceptibility with higher confidence, while the cerebral veins displayed only strong apparent R2* tensor anisotropy. Ordered sub-voxel tissue microstructure leads to apparent R2* anisotropy, which can be found in both white matter tracts and cerebral veins. However, additional molecular anisotropy is required for magnetic susceptibility anisotropy, which can be found in white matter tracts but not in cerebral veins.