There is an increasing need for development of advanced radio-frequency (RF) pulse techniques in modern magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems driven by recent advancements in ultra-high magnetic field systems, new parallel transmit/receive coil designs, and accessible powerful computational facilities. 2D spatially selective RF pulses are an example of advanced pulses that have many applications of clinical relevance, e.g., reduced field of view imaging, and MR spectroscopy. The 2D spatially selective RF pulses are mostly generated and optimised with numerical methods that can handle vast controls and multiple constraints. With this study we aim at demonstrating that numerical, optimal control (OC) algorithms are efficient for the design of 2D spatially selective MRI experiments, when robustness towards e.g. field inhomogeneity is in focus. We have chosen three popular OC algorithms; two which are gradient-based, concurrent methods using first- and second-order derivatives, respectively; and a third that belongs to the sequential, monotonically convergent family. We used two experimental models: a water phantom, and an in vivo human head. Taking into consideration the challenging experimental setup, our analysis suggests the use of the sequential, monotonic approach and the second-order gradient-based approach as computational speed, experimental robustness, and image quality is key. All algorithms used in this work were implemented in the MATLAB environment and are freely available to the MRI community.
- 2D spatially selective excitation
- MRI blOCh
- Optimal control
- RF pulse design