Portable three-dimensional ultra-low field MRI (2017–2019)
Conventional MRI scanners rely on superconducting magnets making them heavy and expensive and putting MRI beyond the reach of much of the world¿s population. Ultra-low field (ULF) MRI instruments offer the possibility of novel image contrast mechanisms, are less costly and are potentially portable, enabling use in unconventional situations. This project addresses ULF-MRI¿s biggest challenge, low signal-to-noise ratio, by using the novel approach of dynamic, mechanically-operated small permanent magnet arrays to generate the magnetic fields required for prepolarisation and spatial encoding. Moving the applicants from UQ and Harvard University ahead of the field, an instrument capable of 3D ULF-MRI will be designed, constructed and evaluated.