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Low Field NMR/MRI Using High Tc SQUIDS

IB-1441

     

APPLICATIONS:

  • Medical imaging
  • Diagnostic imaging: tissue contrast and differentiation
  • Morphology and porosity characterization of materials, e.g. geological rock
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy

ADVANTAGES:

  • Portable, localized, less expensive, nonhazardous, and nonconfining magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Reduced susceptibility artifacts
  • Lower magnetic gradients required
  • Sample volumes can be as small as 0.1 ml
  • Object/subject can be at room temperature
  • Magnetic fields may be as low as 0.1 mT
  • Eliminates the need for highly elaborate dewar systems
 

I–––––––––––– 500 microns ––––––––––––I

 

 

A SQUID is a tiny loop of superconducting material interrupted by narrow gaps called Josephson junctions.

ABSTRACT:

Alexander Pines, John Clarke, and colleagues have created the first nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system that can image small samples at temperatures as high as room temperature and in static magnetic fields between 0.1 and 3 mT.

The system uses a hyperpolarized inert gas to enhance NMR signals and a high critical temperature (T c) superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) to detect them. Sample size is limited only by the size of the magnetic field coils and not by the detector. These conditions allow imaging of biological samples which have been previously difficult to image. In addition, the system eliminates the need for the immobile, expensive, hazardous, and confining magnets used in MRI systems today.

The Berkeley Lab researchers devised an apparatus that stabilizes the operation of the high Tc SQUID exposed to room temperature heat radiation and magnetic fields that are strong relative to SQUID sensitivity.

STATUS:

  • U.S. Patent #6,159,444
  • Available for licensing or collaborative research

REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-1441

PUBLICATION:

Schlenga, K., McDermott, R., Clarke, J., de Souza, R. E., Wong-Foy, A., Pines, A., “Low Field Magnetic Resonance Imaging with a High T c SQUID,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 1999, 75, 3695-3697.

SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:

NMR/MRI:

SQUIDS:

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