Ben Newling




I.U.C. Physics/Admin P230

1 506 458 7932

Magnetic resonance imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a routine clinical tool, generating images with exquisite anatomical detail for diagnostic purposes. Although the spatial resolution is low compared with optical and other microscopies, the real power of MRI lies in the flexibility of available contrasts. Careful choice of preparation of the nuclear spins can allow images to be obtained in which the contrast reflects chemistry, temperature, pH or motion for example. My main interest is in the latter - magnetisation preparation can give MR images which map self-diffusion coefficients or coherent flow velocities. MRI is a uniquely non-invasive probe of inhomogeneous flow fields and is applied for the study of a variety of mass transport situations. Motion contrasts are widely exploited in a clinical context, but less so in materials physics, which is dominated by the difficulties of working in systems with short signal lifetimes.

My research is currently concentrated in three areas: (i) the development of selective radiofrequency excitations for use in MRI where signals are fleetingly short (as they are in most solids, semisolids and confined liquids); (ii) the development of improved methods for flow and diffusion mapping of liquids and gases (faster flow rates, higher spatial resolution) and (iii) the development of new MRI methods for materials science.

The UNB MRI Centre is a world-leading laboratory for materials MRI. The laboratory is beautifully equipped and MRI is an excellent cross-disciplinary field for graduate research. More details of the Centre can be found at the UNB MRI Research Centre, including comprehensive lists of our publications and news about recent awards.