Contoured Array for High Resolution Fetal MRI

Period of Performance: 09/29/2006 - 03/28/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Advanced Imaging Research, Inc.
Cleveland, OH 44114
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): A long term goal is to improve the quality of magnetic resonance (MR) examinations of the fetus. Specifically, custom radio-frequency (RF) Fetal Coil Arrays will be developed to permit high-resolution examination of the central nervous system (brain, spine) and major organs (heart, lungs) of the fetus irrespective of its orientation and the pregnant mother (abdomen, mid pelvis and lower lumbar spine). Phase I will support custom phantom development and MR calorimetry to study RF heating effects on the fetus at 1.5 and 3T. The proposed RF coil prototype will be built and systematically verified on phantoms at 1.5T. Comparisons to the present body coil to evaluate signal-to-noise and uniformity shall be made. Phase II will support human testing of the Phase I prototype on a Siemens 1.5T MRI. Based on the preliminary human evaluation, design optimizations shall be made to the 1.51 prototype. The optimization along with the successful Phase I calorimetric studies will lead to the design and development of 3T arrays. These arrays will be systematically verified on phantoms and compared to body coils prior to human evaluations (under local IRB). In addition, Phase 2 will involve adaptating the Siemens Fetal Arrays to GE and Philips MRIs. This project will facilitate reliable, routine high-resolution imaging of the fetus, in-utero non-invasively, without the use of ionizing radiation. The proposed research if successful, will facilitate the use of MR in the early stages of pregnancy and may assist counseling of the parent and management of the pregnancy (including labor and delivery). The societal impact is immense. The significance of this work is paramount. All this we believe will be of a substantial benefit to mankind. The work proposed is original.