The High-Field MR and Methodology group focuses mainly on the development of MR techniques, with emphasis on MR imaging and spectroscopy at ultra high field. In addition, the characteristics and advantages of ultra high magnetic fields are investigated.
With a 9.4 T MR scanner for humans and a 16.4 T instrument for small animals, our institute has a unique instrumentation that makes it a pioneer in the investigation of ultrahigh field imaging. Thus, the main goals of our group were to develop hardware and imaging techniques to make it possible to fully take advantage of the high magnetic field. In addition, the special properties of MR imaging at those field strengths are investigated and applications for which especially high gains are expected are implemented and characterized.
High magnetic field strengths have a high potential for magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy: The signal-to-noise ratio increases, the longitudinal relaxation time - and thus the potential to store additional information - grows, the sensitivity to detect small local changes in the magnetic properties of tissue gets stronger and the spectral dispersion and thus the information contained in an NMR spectrum increases. Simultaneously, however, the physical properties of the MR signal change drastically as the field gets higher, requiring novel approaches in both hardware and measuring techniques.
We aim to develop the technology that make it possible to fully take advantage of the expected gain at ultra high field:
- Development of hardware (rf-coils and preamplifiers) necessary to enable ultra high field MR as well as techniques for homogenization of the excitation field,
- Evaluation of the potential advantages and limitations imposed by using high magnetic fields,
- Development of optimized measuring techniques with the aim of taking full advantage of the improved imaging characteristics,
- Support of other groups within the department by developing and optimizing imaging techniques adapted to their applications.
The main projects currently are: