Synthetic MRI is a concept whereby the relaxometry parameters are acquired, enabling us to calculate images with a chosen contrast after the actual measurement. Additionally, it allows for a faster and improved segmentation of the brain as well as an improved detection and characterisation of lesions in the brain. Recently MRI sequences were introduced by all major vendors which allow for the acquisition of these relaxometry maps, and the search for clinically relevant applications has started.
Present work focusses on improving synthetic MR for use in neonates and children, to characterize normal and abnormal behaviour of the young brain. The use of synthetic MR for improved and possibly patient or disease-tailored fast sequences is also being investigated.
Further research will focus on simultaneous multi-slice (SMS) acquisitions and Compressed Sensing, both of which are techniques which have the potential to dramatically reduce the scan time, which is one of the major drawbacks of MRI presently.
Maarten Naeyaert studied Physics at the University of Antwerp (2005-2011), and in addition to his work at the University Hospital, he is doing a PhD at the University of Antwerp, which focusses on the application of compressed sensing and HARDI sequences in preclinical MRI scanners.