237. Generalized Bloch model: a theory for pulsed magnetization transfer

Jakob Assländer, Cem Gultekin, Sebastian Flassbeck, Steffen J Glaser, Daniel K Sodickson; arXiv; (2021); Link: https://arxiv.org/abs/2107.11000

We developed a classical model to describe the dynamics of large spin-1/2 ensembles associated with nuclei bound in large molecule structures, commonly referred to as the semi-solid spin pool, and their magnetization transfer (MT) to spins of nuclei in water. Like quantum-mechanical descriptions of spin dynamics and like the original Bloch equations, but unlike existing MT models, the proposed model is based on the algebra of angular momentum in the sense that it explicitly models the rotations induced by radio-frequency (RF) pulses. It generalizes the original Bloch model to non-exponential decays, which are, e.g., observed for semi-solid spin pools. The combination of rotations with non-exponential decays is facilitated by describing the latter as Green's functions. The resulting model is expressed as an integro-differential equation that unifies the original Bloch model, Henkelman's steady-state theory for magnetization transfer, and the commonly assumed rotation induced by hard pulses (i.e., strong and infinitesimally short applications of RF fields). Our model describes the data of an inversion-recovery magnetization-transfer experiment with varying durations of the inversion pulse substantially better than established models. Furthermore, we provide a linear approximation of the generalized Bloch model that reduces the simulation time by approximately a factor 15,000, enabling simulation of the spin dynamics caused by a rectangular RF-pulse in roughly 2μs.