Interdisciplinary Initiatives Program Round 1 - 2000

Dwight Nishimura, Electrical Eng.
Gerald Berry, Pathology
Calvin Quate, Electrical Eng.
Bob Hu, Medicine
Greg Kovacs, Electrical Eng.

The aim of this project is to develop a microscopy system based on magnetic resonance (MR) technology. The primary challenge concerns the design of hardware (linear field gradients and receiver coils) capable of providing sufficient spatial resolution and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Whereas most MR microscopy systems employ magnets up to 10 T for improved SNR, we are investigating techniques that may enable such imaging with lower-field magnets.

At lower field, resolution loss due to vibration and field distortion is easier to control. However, to achieve sufficient signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), a higher sensitivity receiver is necessary. Thus far, we have conducted several studies focused on fundamental SNR limits. We have also investigated new hardware designs, including a cryogenic receiver coil suitable for operation with a small sample at room temperature.