An integrated target field framework for point-of-care halbach array low-field MRI system design

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Objective: Low-cost low-field point-of-care MRI systems are used in many different applications. System design has correspondingly different requirements in terms of imaging field-of-view, spatial resolution and magnetic field strength. In this work an iterative framework has been created to design a cylindrical Halbach-based magnet along with integrated gradient and RF coils that most efficiently fulfil a set of user-specified imaging requirements. Methods: For efficient integration, target field methods are used for each of the main hardware components. These have not been used previously in magnet design, and a new mathematical model was derived accordingly. These methods result in a framework which can design an entire low-field MRI system within minutes using standard computing hardware. Results: Two distinct point-of-care systems are designed using the described framework, one for neuroimaging and the other for extremity imaging. Input parameters are taken from literature and the resulting systems are discussed in detail. Discussion: The framework allows the designer to optimize the different hardware components with respect to the desired imaging parameters taking into account the interdependencies between these components and thus give insight into the influence of the design choices.