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Patents / Intellectual Property

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  1. Resonators for Magnetic Resonance Imaging
    Inventors: R.G. Bryant, J.P. Hornak, E.A. Marshall
    Assignee: University of Rochester
    US Patents: #5,139,024, August 1992; and #5,024,229, June 1991

  2. The single turn solenoid (STS) is a general class of transmit and receive resonator for use in Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The STS has very uniform transmit and receive field distributions across its volume, high filling factor, excellent signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and low transmit power requirements. There are several different forms of the single turn solenoid.

    (picture of sts) (picture of perforated sts) (picture of sts pair) (picture of ribbonator)
    STS
    Perforated STS
    STS Pair
    Ribbonator
    The simple STS is a cylindrical shaped resonator, suitable for MRI of the breast and forearm. The perforated STS is a simple STS with one or more perforations in the cylinder. The perforated STS is suitable for MRI of MRI head, knee, elbow, wrist, and shoulder. The STS pair is, as the name implies, a pair of simple single turn solenoids joined together to resonate as one unit. The STS pair is suitable for MRI of the breasts. The ribbonator is the rectangular shaped STS. The ribbonator can be perforated or joined with another ribbonator to form a pair. The ribbonator is suitable for MRI of the hand and samples. The following images were obtained using STS style resonators as the transmitter and receiver coil on a GE 1.5 T MRI system.

    (picture of breast using STS) (picture of breast using STS) (picture of breast using STS) (picture of breast using STS)

    As an MRI system designer, what can these coils do for you?

    1. The lower transmit power requirements of this style coil means your system will require a smaller, less expensive RF power amplifier.
    2. The favorable SNR of this style coil means high quality images in less time because fewer averages are needed.
    3. The high filling factor of this style coil means better images with a smaller FOV and higher resolution.

     

  3. Resonator for Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Wrist
    Inventors: S.D. Szeglowski, J.P. Hornak
    Assignee: RIT
    US Patent #5,542,424, August 1996

  4. (picture of asym sts) This asymmetric single-turn solenoid style MRI coil is especially suitable for MRI of the human wrist. As is characteristic of single-turn solenoids, this wedge-shaped geometry solenoid has a high filling factor and quality factor, as well as produce images with a favorable signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The radio frequency (RF) transmitter power required to produce a 90 degree pulse in the solenoid was only 80 mW, thus making the device ideal for smaller clinic sized imagers. The asymmetric solenoid has excellent uniformity in the RF field across its volume, thus producing images with uniform contrast-to-noise ratio. The combination of these four properties of the coil resulted in the production of excellent 1.5-mm thick anatomical images of the wrist.

    (MRI of wrist ) Anatomy: human wrist
    Coil: asymmetric single turn solenoid (425 cc)
    Sequence: spin-echo
    Plane: coronal
    TR/TE: 2000/27 ms
    FOV: 7 cm
    Thk: 1.5 mm
    Matrix: 256x256
    Nex: 1
    Imager: 1.5T GE Signa
    SNR: muscle=27, adipose=57
    Power for π/2 rotation: 80 mW

    As an MRI system designer, what can this coil do for you?

    1. The coil's lower transmit power requirements means your system will require a smaller, less expensive RF power amplifier.
    2. The coil's favorable SNR means high quality images in less time because fewer averages are needed.
    3. The coil's high filling factor means better images with a smaller FOV and higher resolution.

     

  5. A Volume Resolution MRI Signal Phantom
    Inventors: S.Y. Moon, J.P. Hornak

  6. (picture of volume resolution phantom) This MRI phantom a series of small diameter tubes which contain a liquid with a magntic resonance (MR) signal. The tubes are arranged to form a regularly spaced array of parallel lines which are orthogonal to another two sets. When imaged by a perfect MRI scanner, the phantom yields images of evenly spaced points, lines, or a grid of lines, depending on the slice thickness and location. These patterns can be used to determine the point spread function of a large volume of the scanner.

    (VR Phantom MR image) Magnetic resonance image of the volume resolution phantom.
    Sequence: fractional echo, spin-echo
    FOV: 12 cm
    Thk: 4 mm
    TR/TE: 1200/11 ms
    Matrix: 512x256
    Nex: 1
    Imager: 1.5T GE Signa

    As an MRI scientist or engineer, this phantom will allow you to:

    1. determine the point spread function of of the scanner in a volume,
    2. determine the linearity of the scanner in a volume, and
    3. determine these quantities witout moving the phantom.

     

  7. A Positioning Jig for a Borehole Magnetometer
    Inventors: C.L. Bray, J.P. Hornak

  8. (picture of switchable phantom) This is a non magnetic device for positioning a magnetometer at reproducible depths and orientations in a borehole to a depth of 21 m. The jig allows a magnetometer to be easily and safely lowered into and raised out of the borehole while keeping the XY orientation of to within +/- 1 degree. The keyed extending rods are easily assembled and disassembled on top of the base in 1 meter sections. A set of depth retainers and safety flange allows the magnetometer housing to be raised and lowered in 10 cm increments without fear of loosing the magnetometer in the borehole. The jig is made of lightweight PVC and can easily be transported by one person to a remote location and assembled.

    (Signal plot) A - Laptop Computer
    B - Connecting Cable
    C - Connecting Tool and Pins for Attachable Keyed Rods.
    D - Depth Retainers
    E - Magnetometer Housing
    F - Base Attaching to Borehole Top
    G - First Attachable Keyed Rod
    H - Attachable Keyed Rods

    As a field geophysicist or geologist, this jig wiill allow you to:

    1. accurately position a magnetometer beneath the surface of the ground
    2. conveniently carry the pieces to a remote site, and
    3. make accurate measurements every 10 cm down to 21 meters.

     

  9. A Switchable Signal Phantom for MRI
    Inventors: Y. Qiu, J.P. Hornak

  10. (picture of switchable phantom) This MRI phantom contains an electric field cell filled with a liquid containing a magntic resonance (MR) signal. When an electric field is applied to the cell, the MR signal changes proportionately to the E-field. Therefore, this phantom can be used to change the MR signal during a scan to a predetermined value and thus determine the scanners minimum detectable signal difference. The signal change is based on ion currents from trace impurities in a polar liquid.

    (Signal plot) MR signal from E-field cell in the phantom.
    Sequence: spin-echo EPI
    E-field: 115 V/cm
    Cycle: 10 on / 10 off
    FOV: 22 cm
    Thk: 10 mm
    Matrix: 64x64
    Nex: 1
    Imager: 1.5T GE Signa Excite HDx

    As an MRI scientist or engineer, this phantom will allow you to:

    1. determine the minimum detectable signal difference from an MRI scanner
    2. change the signal from a phantom without removing the phantom from the scanner, and
    3. determine a scanners ability to measure rapid signal changes.

 


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