Potential Applications of Microtesla Magnetic Resonance ImagingDetected Using a Superconducting Quantum Interference Device

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This dissertation describes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of protons performed in a precession field of 132 {micro}T. In order to increase the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), a pulsed 40-300 mT magnetic field prepolarizes the sample spins and an untuned second-order superconducting gradiometer coupled to a low transition temperature superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) detects the subsequent 5.6-kHz spin precession. Imaging sequences including multiple echoes and partial Fourier reconstruction are developed. Calculating the SNR of prepolarized SQUID-detected MRI shows that three-dimensional Fourier imaging yields higher SNR than slice-selection imaging. An experimentally demonstrated field-cycling pulse sequence and post-processing algorithm mitigate image artifacts caused ... continued below

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Myers, Whittier R. May 18, 2006.

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This dissertation describes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of protons performed in a precession field of 132 {micro}T. In order to increase the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), a pulsed 40-300 mT magnetic field prepolarizes the sample spins and an untuned second-order superconducting gradiometer coupled to a low transition temperature superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) detects the subsequent 5.6-kHz spin precession. Imaging sequences including multiple echoes and partial Fourier reconstruction are developed. Calculating the SNR of prepolarized SQUID-detected MRI shows that three-dimensional Fourier imaging yields higher SNR than slice-selection imaging. An experimentally demonstrated field-cycling pulse sequence and post-processing algorithm mitigate image artifacts caused by concomitant gradients in low-field MRI. The magnetic field noise of SQUID untuned detection is compared to the noise of SQUID tuned detection, conventional Faraday detection, and the Nyquist noise generated by conducting biological samples. A second-generation microtesla MRI system employing a low-noise SQUID is constructed to increase SNR. A 2.4-m cubic, eddy-current shield with 6-mm thick aluminum walls encloses the experiment to attenuate external noise. The measured noise is 0.75 fT Hz{sup -1/2} referred to the bottom gradiometer loop. Solenoids wound from 30-strand braided wire to decrease Nyquist noise and cooled by either liquid nitrogen or water polarize the spins. Copper wire coils wound on wooden supports produce the imaging magnetic fields and field gradients. Water phantom images with 0.8 x 0.8 x 10 mm{sup 3} resolution have a SNR of 6. Three-dimensional 1.6 x 1.9 x 14 mm{sup 3} images of bell peppers and 3 x 3 x 26 mm{sup 3} in vivo images of the human arm are presented. Since contrast based on the transverse spin relaxation rate (T{sub 1}) is enhanced at low magnetic fields, microtesla MRI could potentially be used for tumor imaging. The measured T{sub 1} of ex vivo normal and cancerous prostate tissue differ significantly at 132 {micro}T. A single-sided MRI system designed for prostate imaging could achieve 3 x 3 x 5 mm{sup 3} resolution in 8 minutes. Existing SQUID-based magnetoencephalography (MEG) systems could be used as microtesla MRI detectors. A commercial 275-channel MEG system could acquire 6-minute brain images with (4 mm){sup 3} resolution and SNR 16.

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  • Report No.: LBNL--60209
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 901227
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc877508

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  • May 18, 2006

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Sept. 30, 2016, 2:10 p.m.

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Myers, Whittier R. Potential Applications of Microtesla Magnetic Resonance ImagingDetected Using a Superconducting Quantum Interference Device, thesis or dissertation, May 18, 2006; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc877508/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.