The University of Florida is seeking companies interested in licensing novel non-magnetic, susceptibility-matched metal devices for use in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and MR spectroscopy. Magnetic susceptibility is the degree that materials, such as a tissue or metal, respond to an external magnetic field. As the applied magnetic field permeates through tissue and materials (such as a metal) with different susceptibilities, local magnetic field variations occur. This results in MR phase and frequency changes that can lead to distortions and signal loss in images and spectra. Currently, there is a need for devices made of alternative materials that will retain good electrical properties but result in improved image quality and accuracy due to a reduction of perturbations in the magnetic field. Researchers at the University of Florida have developed devices whose magnetic susceptibility properties match or nearly match that of the tissues in which the devices are inserted, minimizing fluctuations in the local magnetic field and thus, reducing image and spectral distortions while retaining good electrical properties.
Magnetic resonance compatible and susceptibility-matched devices for the reduction of MR image and spectral distortions
- Ability to match the magnetic susceptibility of tissue with metals and/or metal composites facilitates development of electrodes with good conductance that reduce variances in local magnetic field, creating significant competitive advantage
- Reduces MR phase and frequency changes that lead to distortion and signal losses in MR images and spectra, resulting in improvements in image and spectral quality and accuracy and satisfying current market needs
- Enables enhanced precision of electrode positioning, further improving accuracy and quality of MR image and spectra
Various devices of the invention include electrodes, infusion cannula, and interventional MRI instrumentation composed of multiple layers or mixtures of metals or alloys that allow the diamagnetic behavior of some metals to combine with the paramagnetic behaviors of others, resulting in a reduction of variances in the local magnetic field. In order to design an electrode that eliminates image and spectral distortions, University of Florida researchers developed a susceptibility analysis software system that calculates the expected perturbation to the static magnetic field surrounding a device. This allowed researchers to obtain the optimal choice and geometry of metals whose magnetic susceptibility matches or nearly matches that of the target material, minimizing fluctuations in the local magnetic field and thus, reducing image and spectral distortions, while retaining good electrical properties. This significant reduction in distortion enables devices, such as electrodes, to be positioned with greater precision and for tissue near the device to be properly characterized using MR imaging and spectroscopy.