Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of hard biological tissues is challenging due to the fleeting lifetime and low strength of their response to resonant stimuli, especially at low magnetic fields. Consequently, the impact of MRI on some medical applications, such as dentistry, continues to be limited. Here, we present three-dimensional reconstructions of ex-vivo human teeth, as well as a rabbit head and part of a cow femur, all obtained at a field strength of only 260 mT. These images are the first featuring soft and hard tissues simultaneously at sub-Tesla fields, and they have been acquired in a home-made, special-purpose, pre-medical MRI scanner designed with the goal of demonstrating dental imaging at low field settings. We encode spatial information with two variations of zero-echo time (ZTE) pulse sequences: Pointwise-Encoding Time reduction with Radial Acquisition (PETRA) and a new sequence we have called Double Radial Non-Stop Spin Echo (DRaNSSE), which we find to perform better than the former. For image reconstruction we employ Algebraic Reconstruction Techniques (ART) as well as standard Fourier methods. A noise analysis of the resulting images shows that ART reconstructions exhibit a higher signal to noise ratio with a more homogeneous noise distribution.
Comments: 12 pages, comments welcome