Signal-to-noise ratio uniformity and stability of agar gel phantom with iron (III) oxide as relaxation modifier

W. X. Er, W. J. Lim, Y. Dwihapsari, M. N.A. Awang, A. N. Yusoff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Agar has been commonly used as one of the materials to fabricate magnetic resonance imaging phantoms in the past few decades. In this study, eleven agar gel phantoms with different iron (III) oxide (Fe2O3) masses were prepared. This study was aimed to evaluate the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) uniformity and stability of agar gel phantoms with and without the addition of Fe2O3at two different time points (TPs). Fe2O3powder was used as a relaxation modifier to manipulate and produce various SNR, T1 and T2 values. These phantoms were scanned using turbo spin echo pulse sequence to produce T1- and T2-measurement images. The SNR was then computed by plotting 1, 3 and 25 regions of interest on the images using ImageJ software. The T1 and T2 relaxation equations were then fitted to the experimental results of SNR versus TR and SNR versus TE curves for the determination of saturation (SNRo), T1 and T2 values. Results: The results demonstrated that the agar gel phantoms were able to maintain SNR uniformity but not SNR stability after 4 weeks of phantom preparation. The change in the water content and microstructure of the phantoms have no significant effect on T2 relaxation but on T1 relaxation. The T1 and T2 of the agar gel phantoms were minimally affected although there was a systemic increase in the content of the Fe2O3powder. Conclusions: It can be concluded that the agar gel phantoms exhibited the characteristics of SNR uniformity, but they showed instability of SNR at TP2. The Fe2O3in powder form is not an effective relaxation modifier to reduce the T1 and T2 when it is introduced into the agar gel phantoms. Dissolved nanosized particles should be the focus of future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number84
JournalBeni-Suef University Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Agar gel
  • Iron (III) oxide
  • Relaxation time
  • Signal-to-noise ratio
  • Stability
  • Uniformity


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