Planar gradiometer for magnetic induction tomography (MIT): Theoretical and experimental sensitivity maps for a low-contrast phantom

Hermann Scharfetter, Stephan Rauchenzauner, Robert Merwa, O. Biró, Karl Hollaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Planar gradiometers (PGRAD) have particular advantages compared to solenoid receiver coils in magnetic induction tomography (MIT) for biological objects. A careful analysis of the sensitivity maps has to be carried out for perturbations within conducting objects in order to understand the performance of a PGRAD system and the corresponding implications for the inverse problem of MIT. We calculated and measured sensitivity maps for a single MIT-channel and a cylindrical tank (diameter 200 mm) with a spherical perturbation (diameter 50 mm) and with conductivities in the physiological range (0.4-0.8 S m -1). The excitation coil (EXC) was a solenoid (diameter 100 mm) with its axis perpendicular to the cylinder axis. As receiver a PGRAD was used. Calculations were carried out with a finite element model comparing the PGRAD and a solenoid receiver coil with its axis perpendicular to the excitation coil axis (SC90). The measured and simulated sensitivity maps agree satisfactorily within the limits of unavoidable systematic errors. In PGRAD the sensitivity is zero on the coil axis, exhibiting two local extrema near the receiver and a strong increase of the sensitivity with the distance from the coil axis. In SC90 the sensitivity map is morphologically very similar to that of the PGRAD. The maps are completely different from those known in EIT and may thus cause different implications for the inverse problem. The SC90 can, in principle, replace the mechanically and electrically more complicated PGRAD, however, the immunity to far sources of electromagnetic interference is worse, thus requiring magnetic shielding of the system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-333
Number of pages9
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004


  • Gradiometer
  • Magnetic induction tomography
  • Sensitivity map
  • Tissue conductivity
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Magnetics/instrumentation
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography/methods
  • Phantoms, Imaging


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