Simulation and experimental verification of the diffusion in an anisotropic fiber phantom

Els Fieremans*, Yves De Deene, Steven Delputte, Mahir S. Özdemir, Yves D'Asseler, Jelle Vlassenbroeck, Karel Deblaere, Eric Achten, Ignace Lemahieu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)


Diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging enables the visualization of fibrous tissues such as brain white matter. The validation of this non-invasive technique requires phantoms with a well-known structure and diffusion behavior. This paper presents anisotropic diffusion phantoms consisting of parallel fibers. The diffusion properties of the fiber phantoms are measured using diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging and bulk NMR measurements. To enable quantitative evaluation of the measurements, the diffusion in the interstitial space between fibers is modeled using Monte Carlo simulations of random walkers. The time-dependent apparent diffusion coefficient and kurtosis, quantifying the deviation from a Gaussian diffusion profile, are simulated in 3D geometries of parallel fibers with varying packing geometries and packing densities. The simulated diffusion coefficients are compared to the theory of diffusion in porous media, showing a good agreement. Based on the correspondence between simulations and experimental measurements, the fiber phantoms are shown to be useful for the quantitative validation of diffusion imaging on clinical MRI-scanners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-199
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


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