High-quality compact portable low-field head MRI with ultra-fast gradients

Period of Performance: 08/01/2017 - 07/31/2018

$697K

Phase SBIR

Recipient Firm

Weinberg Medical Physics, LLC
NORTH BETHESDA, MD 20852
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The company has shown that with by using ultra-fast strong gradients, inexpensive low- field MRI systems can collect images that are comparable in quality (signal-to-noise ratio, resolution) to conventional (e.g., 3T) MRI. The company already has made large strides in commercializing this advantage by conducting human studies (with a prototype) and by attracting investors. The prototype was built with 20th-century technology (e.g., electrolytic capacitors and cryogenic coils) which were bulky and do not lend themselves to mass production. In the proposed effort we will improve manufacturing capability by upgrading the electronics and power storage sub-systems of our low-field MRI without compromising image quality. These new subsystem designs are based on ultra-capacitor technology (originally developed for hybrid cars) and electropermanent magnets (originally designed for drones). The low-field systems will be used in neuro-operating rooms, neuro-ICUs, battlefields, athletic fields, etc. Inquiries for the product have come from serious distributors of products in the fields of neurology, brain surgery, trauma, oncology, and otolaryngology, some of whom have already invested in the company. Documentation of this interest from a subset of interested partners and/or investors is included in the Letters of Support section of this proposal.