Molecular Imaging with Spins: A Marriage of Quantum Mechanics with Machine Learning to Achieve High Resolution

Thursday, November 18, 2021
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Location: BME 3.204

Zhi-Pei Liang, PhD
Franklin W. Woeltge Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
The Grainger College of Engineering
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Since its invention in the early 1970s, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become a premier tool for structural imaging and functional imaging using water proton spin signals. MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) has also long been recognized as a potentially powerful tool for noninvasive molecular imaging by exploiting the spin signals from other molecules. However, state-of-the-art MRSI methods, after more than four decades of development, still far short of providing adequate spatial resolution, speed, and signal-to-noise ratio useful for routine clinical applications.

The talk will discuss our recent “breakthroughs” in overcoming the longstanding technical barriers of MRSI-based molecular imaging using a new technology known as SPICE (SPectroscopic Imaging by exploiting spatiospectral CorrElation). SPICE uses a subspace mathematical framework to effectively integrate rapid scanning, sparse sampling, constrained image reconstruction, quantum simulation, and machine learning. Preliminary results show an unprecedented capability for simultaneous mapping of brain structures, function and metabolism using intrinsic spin signals from multiple molecules. In this talk, I’ll give an overview of SPICE and also show some “SPICY” experimental results we have obtained.

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