Simultaneous temperature and viscosity estimation capability via magnetic nanoparticle relaxation
Purpose: Magnetic particle imaging (MPI) is emerging as a highly promising imaging modality. Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are used as imaging tracers in MPI, and their relaxation behavior provides the foundation for its functional imaging capability. Since MNPs are also utilized in magnetic fluid hyperthermia (MFH) and MPI enables localized MFH, temperature mapping arises as an important application area of MPI. To achieve accurate temperature estimations, however, one must also take into account the confounding effects of viscosity on the MPI signal. In this work, we analyze the effects of temperature and viscosity on MNP relaxation and determine temperature and viscosity sensitivities of relaxation time constant estimations via TAURUS (TAU estimation via Recovery of Underlying mirror Symmetry) at a wide range of operating points to empower simultaneous mapping of these two parameters. Methods: A total of 15 samples were prepared to reach four target viscosity levels (0.9–3.6 mPa (Formula presented.) s) at five different temperatures (25–45 (Formula presented.) C). Experiments were performed on a magnetic particle spectrometer (MPS) setup at 60 different operating points at drive field amplitudes ranging between 5 and 25 mT and frequencies ranging between 1 and 7 kHz. To enable these extensive experiments, an in-house arbitrary-waveform MPS setup with temperature-controlled heating capability was developed. The operating points were divided into four groups with comparable signal levels to maximize signal gain during rapid signal acquisition. The relaxation time constants were estimated via TAURUS, by restoring the underlying mirror symmetry property of the positive and negative half cycles of the time-domain MNP response. The relative time constants with respect to the drive field period, (Formula presented.), were computed to enable quantitative comparison across different operating points. At each operating point, a linear fit was performed to (Formula presented.) as a function of each functional parameter (i.e., temperature or viscosity). The slopes of these linear fits were utilized to compute the temperature and viscosity sensitivities of TAURUS. Results: Except for outlier behaviors at 1 kHz, the following global trends were observed: (Formula presented.) decreases with drive field amplitude, increases with drive field frequency, decreases with temperature, and increases with viscosity. The temperature sensitivity varies slowly across the operating points and reaches a maximum value of 1.18%/ (Formula presented.) C. In contrast, viscosity sensitivity is high at low frequencies around 1 kHz with a maximum value of 13.4%/(mPa (Formula presented.) s) but rapidly falls after 3 kHz. These results suggest that the simultaneous estimation of temperature and viscosity can be achieved by performing measurements at two different drive field settings that provide complementary temperature/viscosity sensitivities. Alternatively, temperature estimation alone can be achieved with a single measurement at drive field frequencies above 3 kHz, where viscosity sensitivity is minimized. Conclusions: This work demonstrates highly promising temperature and viscosity sensitivities for TAURUS, highlighting its potential for simultaneous estimation of these two environmental parameters via MNP relaxation. The findings of this work reveal the potential of a hybrid MPI–MFH system for real-time monitored and localized thermal ablation treatment of cancer.