Fast evaluation of the Biot-Savart integral using FFT for electrical conductivity imaging

Hassan Yazdanian*, Guilherme B. Saturnino, Axel Thielscher, Kim Knudsen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Magnetic resonance electrical impedance tomography (MREIT) and current density imaging (MRCDI) are emerging as new methods to non-invasively assess the electric conductivity of and current density distributions within biological tissue in vivo. The accurate and fast computation of magnetic fields caused by low frequency electrical currents is a central component of the development, evaluation and application of reconstruction methods that underlie the estimations of the conductivity and current density, respectively, from the measured MR data. However, methods for performing these computations have not been well established in the literature. In the current work, we describe a fast and efficient technique to evaluate the Biot-Savart integral based on the fast Fourier transform (FFT), and evaluate its convergence. We show that the method can calculate magnetic fields in realistic human head models in one minute on a standard computer, while keeping error below 2%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109408
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Biot-Savart integral
  • Conductivity
  • FFT
  • Forward problem
  • Magnetic field


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