New material shows promise for MRI

April 25, 2001

Scientists from Marconi Medical Systems and the Imperial College of London have developed a magnetic material that promises to improve MRI performance. The new material concentrates and shapes radio-frequency flux patterns used in data acquisition and is

Scientists from Marconi Medical Systems and the Imperial College of London have developed a magnetic material that promises to improve MRI performance. The new material concentrates and shapes radio-frequency flux patterns used in data acquisition and is less vulnerable than current materials to external interference. The capability of the substance as a flux guide has been used to remotely image a human finger.

The material was developed as part of a collaboration among the physics department of Imperial College, the Clinical Sciences Centre MR Unit of the Imperial Medical School, and Marconi Caswell in the U.K. The work led to the discovery of a new class of microstructured materials, which is part of a larger family called photonic band gap materials. The microstructured material now being developed by Marconi is designed specifically for use in MRI. It has a high magnetic permeability for RF fields but not for static fields. It also has applications as a magnetic screen and potentially as a magnetic lens.