Microtesla magnetic resonance imaging with a superconducting quantum interference device

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We have constructed a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner based on a dc Superconducting QUantum Interference Device (SQUID) configured as a second-derivative gradiometer. The magnetic field sensitivity of the detector is independent of frequency; it is therefore possible to obtain high-resolution images by prepolarizing the nuclear spins in a field of 300 mT and detecting the signal at 132 fYT, corresponding to a proton Larmor frequency of 5.6 kHz. The reduction in the measurement field by a factor of 10,000 compared with conventional scanners eliminates inhomogeneous broadening of the nuclear magnetic resonance lines, even in fields with relatively poor homogeneity. ... continued below

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McDermott, Robert; Lee, SeungKyun; ten Haken, Bennie; Trabesinger, Andreas H.; Pines, Alexander & Clarke, John March 15, 2004.

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We have constructed a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner based on a dc Superconducting QUantum Interference Device (SQUID) configured as a second-derivative gradiometer. The magnetic field sensitivity of the detector is independent of frequency; it is therefore possible to obtain high-resolution images by prepolarizing the nuclear spins in a field of 300 mT and detecting the signal at 132 fYT, corresponding to a proton Larmor frequency of 5.6 kHz. The reduction in the measurement field by a factor of 10,000 compared with conventional scanners eliminates inhomogeneous broadening of the nuclear magnetic resonance lines, even in fields with relatively poor homogeneity. The narrow linewidths result in enhanced signal-to-noise ratio and spatial resolution for a fixed strength of the magnetic field gradients used to encode the image. We present two-dimensional images of phantoms and pepper slices, obtained in typical magnetic field gradients of 100 fYT/m, with a spatial resolution of about 1mm. We further demonstrate a slice-selected image of an intact pepper. By varying the time delay between removal of the polarizing field and initiation of the spin echo sequence we acquire T1-weighted contrast images of water phantoms, some of which are doped with a paramagnetic salt; here, T1 is the nuclear spin-lattice relaxation time. The techniques presented here could readily be adapted to existing multichannel SQUID systems used for magnetic source imaging of brain signals. Further potential applications include low-cost systems for tumor screening and imaging peripheral regions of the body.

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OSTI as DE00840330

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  • Journal Name: PNAS; Journal Volume: 101; Journal Issue: 21; Other Information: Submitted to PNAS: Volume 101, No.21; Journal Publication Date: 05/25/2004

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  • Report No.: LBNL--55012
  • Grant Number: AC03-76SF00098
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 840330
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc788557

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  • March 15, 2004

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Sept. 21, 2017, 6:04 p.m.

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McDermott, Robert; Lee, SeungKyun; ten Haken, Bennie; Trabesinger, Andreas H.; Pines, Alexander & Clarke, John. Microtesla magnetic resonance imaging with a superconducting quantum interference device, article, March 15, 2004; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc788557/: accessed November 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.