Flow in porous metallic materials: A magnetic resonance imaging study

Shoujun Xu, Elad Harel, David J. Michalak, Charles W. Crawford, Dmitry Budker*, Alexander Pines

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: To visualize flow dynamics of analytes inside porous metallic materials with laser-detected magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Materials and Methods: We examine the flow of nuclear-polarized water in a porous stainless steel cylinder. Laser-detected MRI utilizes a sensitive optical atomic magnetometer as the detector. Imaging was performed in a remote-detection mode: the encoding was conducted in the Earth's magnetic field, and detection is conducted downstream of the encoding location. Conventional MRI (7T) was also performed for comparison. Results: Laser-detected MRI clearly showed MR images of water flowing through the sample, whereas conventional MRI provided no image. Conclusion: We demonstrated the viability of laser-detected MRI at low-field for studying porous metallic materials, extending MRI techniques to a new group of systems that is normally not accessible to conventional MRI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1299-1302
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • Flow imaging
  • Laser detection, porous metal
  • Low-field MRI
  • Penetration depth
  • Remote detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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