Lorentz-force-induced motion in conductive media

Alexandra T. Basford, Jeffrey R. Basford, Jennifer Kugel, Richard L. Ehman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This project was designed to assess whether MRI imaging could detect Lorentz-force-induced motion in conductive samples. Experiments were performed by applying alternating voltages across 2% agar and 18% bovine gels placed in the field of a 1.5-T MRI scanner. Motion-sensitized time-gated MRI images that were obtained and analyzed with custom-developed software used in previous studies revealed the production of movement in both agar and gel samples. Motion was most pronounced in the plane vertical to the sample and had the greatest amplitude when the current path was perpendicular to the scanner's magnetic field. These findings are compatible with the vector cross product nature of the Lorentz force and suggest that the imaging of Lorentz-force-induced motion in conductive samples is feasible. Whether this approach can be extended to study electrically active tissues such as the peripheral nerves, brain and heart remains to be seen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-651
Number of pages5
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005


  • Electrical current
  • Imaging
  • Lorentz force
  • MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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