This proposal aims at demonstrating the feasibility of designing and constructing a novel 7 T MR magnet that is significantly smaller, lighter and less costly than magnets based on conventional technologies. This neuro- science targeted magnet has an internal diameter of 680 mm and can be installed in a standard clinical MR suite and used for MR studies on humans as well as large animals, such as primates and pigs. High field MR provides data that are not available at lower fields. Applications encompass anatomical, metabolic and molecular imaging, functional and diffusion imaging, and spectroscopy. A variety of novel, high- speed and enhanced-contrast techniques has already been developed, while specific high-field clinical applications can be anticipated. Both access to, and dissemination of, high field MR platforms are impeded by their very high cost and demanding siting requirements. The magnet alone can represent over 80% of the total system cost, thereby representing the most important target for cost reduction. In terms of cost and optimization of performance traditional magnet technologies have reached their limits, so further advances must depend on using novel superconductors, reinforcement technology and the most sophisticated magnet design techniques. Such a technological leap has not yet been taken, partly due to the lack of such novel technologies, but also because of the small number of competitors in the magnet business. Stern Magnetics, LLC has successfully demonstrated the high performance of internally reinforced super- conducting wire with enhanced capability for supporting the high stresses present in high-field large bore magnets. It has also demonstrated highly optimized magnet designs developed to take advantage of the specific characteristics of these novel wires. This technology is patented and proprietary to Stern and, besides lowering costs, also allows significantly shorter magnet bores. Should this proposal be selected for funding and successfully completed, the subsequent Phase II will address engineering and manufacturing the first compact, shielded, 7 T magnet with a short, 680 mm diameter room- temperature bore. Currently there are no manufacturers of high-field MRI magnets in the US and success of this program can establish the first US-based manufacturer of advanced technology high-field MRI magnets. The commercial availability of cheaper and more compact high-field MR platforms will deepen and accelerate research into human disease. As an added benefit, this can also become an enabling technology for more practical and affordable clinical scanners operating at 3 T. Finally, this proposal is also well aligned with NIH's goal of """"""""encouraging innovation in manufacturing"""""""", per Executive Order 13329. ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase I (R43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SBMI-T (10))
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Swain, Amy L
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Superconducting Systems, Inc
United States
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