The unique ability to provide in vivo biological information and excellent visualization of human soft tissues has led to widespread clinical and research application of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Recent technological improvement in high field MRI, defined as static magnetic fields greater then 2.0 Tesla, provides potential for significant advances in biomedical imaging and in vivo biological research. Unfortunately, interaction of biological tissues with high static (B0) and radio frequency (B1) magnetic fields result in severe image artifacts that restrict applications of high field MRI technology.
The long-term objective of this research is to understand and develop bioengineering solutions to limitations of MRI at high magnetic field strength. As recommended in NIH PA # PAR-02-010, this project will use a partnership of both academic institutions and private industry to develop a design-directed bioengineering approach to this problem. Specifically, we will draw expertise and partnership from the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research at the University of Minnesota (a premiere 7.0 Tesla whole-body MRI research facility), REMCOM (a magnetic field modeling software company), and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory ( a National Research Laboratory incorporating 750 MHz MRI microscopy and a 11.7 Tesla, 40 cm bore animal system). Information and technology obtained through this Bioengineering Research Partnership will have wide-reaching benefit to a growing number of high field MRI centers developing worldwide. Through a better understanding of tissue interactions with high B0 and high frequency B1 fields, methods can be developed to overcome current obstacles that limit application of high field MRI to important biomedical problems.