Magnetic Particle Imaging Data Format (MDF)

Until 2015 there was no open and standardized file format for storing and exchanging MPI raw data. For this reason, our institute, with the cooperation of other renowned MPI researchers, developed a data format based on the Hierarchical Data Format (HDF5). The early involvement of several institutions in the development of the data format and the open process made it possible to consider numerous requirements. The complete development and discussion was done on GitHub under the GNU GPL and the final specification was published on arXiv. The MDF is versioned and is constantly evolving. By means of sample scripts in different programming languages (Python, Julia, Matlab), even beginners in the field of research can use the data directly without having to implement the complete specification. Moreover it contains links to the exemplary 2D data of a 5-point phantom, the reconstruction of which is shown on the right hand side.

The current release v2.1.0 of the specification can be found here:

and the main project page under:

We are happy about any feedback / suggestions that can be send by email to us. Improvements and amendments can be also directly made on Github.


  • T. Knopp, T. Viereck, G. Bringout, M. Ahlborg, A. von Gladiss, C. Kaethner, A. Neumann, P. Vogel, J. Rahmer, M. Möddel (2018). MDF: Magnetic Particle Imaging Data Format. ArXiv e-prints. 1602.06072v6. 1-15 [www]