Rf Coils for Hyperpolarized Gas Lung MRI

Period of Performance: 09/29/2000 - 09/28/2003


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Midwest R.f., LLC
Hartland, WI 53029
Principal Investigator


An RF coil with unique architecture is to be developed, designed for whole- lung imaging with full coverage, and optimized for high SNR and homogeneity. Hyperpolarized 3He and 129Xe MRI requires such coils for the clinical diagnosis and staging of lung pathology, as well as for the study of lung morphology and function in humans. Pulmonary disease results in considerable morbidity and mortality, but many existing diagnostic techniques are inadequate. Hyperpolarized 3He MR imaging of the lungs has already proved to be clinically diagnostic in patients with COPD, distinguishing healthy and impaired regions of ventilation. Hyperpolarized noble gas MRI utilizes spin-l/2 nuclei of 3He and 129Xe "hyperpolarized" to 10[5] times the equilibrium value, making them potent MRI probes. The field has matured considerably in the five years since the Co-PI and collaborators invented the technique. This STTR brings together the special skills in RF coil design and construction at Midwest RF LLC, with the expertise in hyperpolarized noble-gas MRI at the Brigham and Women's Hospital. A number of research sites and hospitals have expressed the need for effective lung coils; consequently the likelihood is high that this research will result in commercial products that benefit public health-care. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: We propose to develop an innovative RF coil for hyperpolarized gas MRI of the lungs. Research sites and hospitals have expressed a need for such a coil to aid in the diagnosis and staging of emphysema, asthma, cystic fibrosis, COPD, and other forms of pulmonary diseases, which raises a high likelihood of generating commercial products that benefit public health- care.