Technology Research & Development Project #2

Radiofrequency Field Interactions with Tissue: New Tools for RF Design, Safety, and Control

Though the comprehensive continuous MR acquisition approach developed in TR&D #1 can in principle be implemented using simple radiofrequency (RF) coil structures such as birdcage body coils, it will benefit notably from the use of encircling RF coil arrays with suitable geometric diversity, encoding capability, and volumetric coverage. Also, there is currently no reliable way to monitor or predict in vivo tissue heating in response to applied RF fields, which is an issue that must be addressed not only for continuous acquisition in MR, but also for traditional MR pulse sequences. In this second TR&D project, we will turn the problem of RF field interactions with tissue on its head to yield new coil designs with unprecedented performance, new basic understandings of in vivo electrodynamics, new image contrast based on tissue electrical properties, and a new means of robust safety prediction. As part of the project, we will develop and share widely a comprehensive suite of software for rational RF coil design and evaluation, which will allow sites without expertise in coil design to understand and make contributions to the complex area of RF engineering. We will also disseminate, through both academic and industrial channels, new tools for RF field safety assessment, allowing monitoring and prediction of actual individualized in vivo local specific absorption rate (SAR) and temperature rise on a patient-by-patient basis.
TR&D #2 co-PIs Dr. Collins and Dr. Wiggins are world leaders in the areas of MR safety and RF coil design, respectively. They will lead a team with far-reaching expertise in electrodynamics and RF engineering.


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Philanthropic Support

We gratefully acknowledge generous support for radiology research at NYU Langone Medical Center from:
• The Big George Foundation
• Raymond and Beverly Sackler
• Bernard and Irene Schwartz

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