Dr. Pipe's Magnetic Resonance Technology and Use Design Laboratory at Mayo Clinic is working on a comprehensive design of technology for rapid, robust, patient-centered MRI, including the following:
B0 mapping and deblurring
Some challenges currently being addressed include:
- Accurate B0 mapping in low-signal regions
- Prediction and measurement of B0 changes
- Algorithms for deblurring images in the presence of steep and rapidly varying B0, for example, near metal implants
- Computational efficiency
Spiral waveform generation and scanner characterization
Some areas of technological advancement include:
- Optimizing spiral waveforms for scanner performance
- Characterizing the gradient system using a linear model
- Characterizing changes in the state model of the scanner
- Characterizing nonlinear behavior of the gradient system
Pulse sequence development
The lab is developing a broad range of pulse sequences, with a focus on clinically relevant applications. Thus, most work involves common gradient echo and turbo-spin echo sequences. However, the research team is also developing strategies for ultrashort echo time, arterial spin labeling, flow (phase-contrast and time-of-flight magnetic resonance angiography), and other special applications. Most sequences are based on the 2D spiral and 3D spiral staircase framework.
Most of the image reconstruction developed by Dr. Pipe's lab involves conventional linear methods, for example, gridding. However, the lab is pursuing a wide range of technical innovations and embedding advances in nonlinear methods, for example, compressed sensing or artificial intelligence, when appropriate. With an eye toward rapid clinical adoption, Dr. Pipe's research team maintains an emphasis on computationally efficient algorithms.
User interface and user experience for patient-centered scanning
The Magnetic Resonance Technology and Use Design Laboratory team has an interest in embedding its spiral MRI technology in a modern scanner that can address other aspects of rapid and robust scanning, such as workflow issues, patient motion, image consistency, and patient safety and experience.
Therefore, much of the work involves principles geared toward experience, scan repeatability and simplicity that start in the design of pulse sequences and are implemented in many areas, including new concepts for user interface.