The cost of installing and maintaining current superconducting MRI systems has limited their widespread distribution in the developing world and rural areas of the US. The availability of low-cost high image quality MRI systems would improve access to clinically advanced MR applications, and would improve diagnosis and care of patients. High image quality greatly improves the capability of MRI systems in advanced medical applications such as cardiac and neurological scanning. The objective of this program is to develop technologies that enable easily sitable, low-cost whole-body MRI systems with high image quality, which will greatly expand the MRI in- stall base to include underserved areas and underdeveloped regions. With the successful development of the proposed magnet technologies, MRI systems can be realized with cost and suitability requirements comparable to today's low-cost permanent magnet systems (magnetic field of 0.2 - 0.35 T), but with a high magnetic field (1.5 - 3.0T) and excellent image quality comparable to existing mainstream and premium superconducting systems. This program will: 1. Develop new cryogen-free low-cost magnet technologies. 2. Demonstrate technologies, such as a cryogen-free cooling system and a MgB2 magnet, that can enable easily sitable low-cost MRI systems.

Public Health Relevance

The long-term objective of this program is to develop easily siteable MgB2, low-cost whole-body MRI systems with high image quality, which will greatly expand the MRI installed base to include underserved areas and underdeveloped regions. With the successful development of the proposed magnet technologies, MRI systems can be realized with cost and sitability requirements comparable to today's low-cost permanent magnet systems (magnetic field of 0.2 - 0.35T), but with a high magnetic field (1.5 - 3.0T) and excellent image quality comparable to existing mainstream and premium superconducting systems.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01EB009359-04
Application #
8304357
Study Section
Biomedical Imaging Technology Study Section (BMIT)
Program Officer
Sastre, Antonio
Project Start
2009-09-01
Project End
2014-06-30
Budget Start
2012-07-01
Budget End
2014-06-30
Support Year
4
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$808,374
Indirect Cost
$379,245
Name
General Electric Global Research Center
Department
Type
DUNS #
086188401
City
Niskayuna
State
NY
Country
United States
Zip Code
12309