Ultra High-Field MRI - Open questions in engineering and multiphysics

Seminar | February 26 | 1-2 p.m. | Soda Hall, Wozniak Lounge (430 Soda Hall)

 Simone Angela Winkler, Staff Research Associate, Stanford University

 Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has emerged as one of the most powerful and informative diagnostic tools in modern medicine. While most clinical MR studies use magnetic field strengths of 1.5T or 3T, leading research is pushing these magnetic field strengths to 7T and beyond. These new ultra high-field (UHF) technologies promise images with higher spatial resolution, higher sensitivity to subtle change, and novel contrasts, which will in turn improve our basic understanding of anatomy and physiology in both healthy tissue and disease.

Among the recent applications of UHF MRI is the mapping of the human brain as part of the NIH-funded Human Connectome Project (HCP) promising crucial improvement in spatial resolution and sensitivity for deciphering subtle features that are less than 1mm in size and thus potentially allowing to map intricate detail such as intra-cortical or small subcortical network hubs.

However, there are substantial hurdles to surmount before we will reap the promised benefits of UHF MRI in such applications. This talk will introduce some of the major challenges faced in UHF MRI and will summarize a number of concepts in engineering and multiphysics that are being researched to overcome these issues.

 Jean Richter, Academic HR Analyst, EECS Department, UC Berkeley #223 Cory Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-1770, jeanrichter@berkeley.edu, 510-643-8208