This application proposes the collaborative purchase of a high performance 3 Tesla MRI scanner for human and large animal research centered at the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The University of Utah has committed to transfer ownership of a Siemens Trio 3T MRI scanner to the MRI research program and in this proposal we apply for matching funding to upgrade that scanner to a Siemens Prisma 3T MRI scanner. With improvements in RF and gradient hardware, and associated improvements in imaging software, this instrument will be a major benefit to at least 13 funded NIH R01's, as well as a large number of other NIH and non-NIH funded projects. The Prisma MRI scanner will become a premier instrument in an existing and already functioning MRI Service Recharge Center (SRC), and therefore all scientific, technical, and financial management are already in place and fully operational. The MRI SRC will handle system scheduling and operation, and cover the service contract for maintenance. The MRI SRC will also provide physics and technical support for users as well as safety training for all individuals associated with research projects. The Prisma provides specific improvements that will be of great value for the existing NIH research projects:- The new digital RF system will result in up to 20% improvement in SNR and the requested 64 RF receiver channels will enable coils with greater numbers of elements for improved parallel imaging and reduced image noise amplification. The two-channel RF transmitter will enable more spatially uniform excitation pulses, and faster multiple dimension excitation pulses. The improved RF system will enable improved simultaneous multiple- slice (SMS or multi-band) acquisition for faster parallel imaging. The increased gradient strength (80mT/m, 200T/m/s) will nearly double the SNR achieved in diffusion weighted-, tensor-, and spectral- imaging (DWI, DTI, DSI), and will greatly improve SNR in motion and flow sensing sequences. The gradients have improved cooling for better temperature stability and higher duty cycle operation. The reduced temperature variation will translate directly into reduced B0 drift caused by passive iron shims positioned in the gradients. The reduced B0 drift will directly improve phase-based temperature measurements (HIFU projects) and improve phase stability for flow and motion sensing sequences. The improved gradient duty cycle will enable higher resolution and longer duration scans. Funding of this upgrade request will enable the seamless transfer of projects from the research Trio to the Prisma without interrupting or adversely affecting any ongoing studies that require continuity on the existing platform. The Prisma will double the MRI research capacity, essential for the growing research program at the University of Utah, which has increased 8-fold over the past 8 years. Thus, the NIH projects will be accelerated by greater access and more importantly by increased performance, which will provide more accurate and precise data that will enable more rapid assessment of new methods and testing of hypotheses with fewer subjects.
|de Bever, Joshua T; Odéen, Henrik; Hofstetter, Lorne W et al. (2018) Simultaneous MR thermometry and acoustic radiation force imaging using interleaved acquisition. Magn Reson Med 79:1515-1524|