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      A whole-body Fast Field-Cycling scanner for clinical molecular imaging studies

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          Abstract

          Fast Field-Cycling (FFC) is a well-established Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) technique that exploits varying magnetic fields to quantify molecular motion over a wide range of time scales, providing rich structural information from nanometres to micrometres, non-invasively. Previous work demonstrated great potential for FFC-NMR biomarkers in medical applications; our research group has now ported this technology to medical imaging by designing a whole-body FFC Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FFC-MRI) scanner capable of performing accurate measurements non-invasively over the entire body, using signals from water and fat protons. This is a unique tool to explore new biomarkers related to disease-induced tissue remodelling. Our approach required making radical changes in the design, construction and control of MRI hardware so that the magnetic field is switched within 12.5 ms to reach any field strength from 50 μT to 0.2 T, providing clinically useful images within minutes. Pilot studies demonstrated endogenous field-dependant contrast in biological tissues in good agreement with reference data from other imaging modalities, confirming that our system can perform multiscale structural imaging of biological tissues, from nanometres to micrometres. It is now possible to confirm ex vivo results obtained from previous clinical studies, offering applications in diagnosis, staging and monitoring treatment for cancer, stroke, osteoarthritis and oedema.

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          Most cited references39

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          The intrinsic signal-to-noise ratio in NMR imaging.

          The fundamental limit for NMR imaging is set by an intrinsic signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for a particular combination of rf antenna and imaging subjects. The intrinsic SNR is the signal from a small volume of material in the sample competing with electrical noise from thermally generated, random noise currents in the sample. The intrinsic SNR has been measured for a number of antenna-body section combinations at several different values of the static magnetic field and is proportional to B0. We have applied the intrinsic and system SNR to predict image SNR and have found satisfactory agreement with measurements on images. The relationship between SNR and pixel size is quite different in NMR than it is with imaging modalities using ionizing radiation, and indicates that the initial choice of pixel size is crucial in NMR. The analog of "contrast-detail-dose" plots for ionizing radiation imaging modalities is the "contrast-detail-time" plot in NMR, which should prove useful in choosing a suitable pixel array to visualize a particular anatomical detail for a given NMR receiving antenna.
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            Field-cycling NMR relaxometry

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              NMR field-cycling spectroscopy: principles and a]lications

              F Noack (1986)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                l.broche@abdn.ac.uk
                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2045-2322
                18 July 2019
                18 July 2019
                2019
                : 9
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 7291, GRID grid.7107.1, Aberdeen Biomedical Imaging Centre, , University of Aberdeen, ; Foresterhill, AB25 2ZD Aberdeen UK
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0000 8678 4766, GRID grid.417581.e, Acute Stroke Unit, , Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, ; Foresterhill, AB25 2ZD Aberdeen UK
                Article
                46648
                10.1038/s41598-019-46648-0
                6639535
                31320653
                a79900d4-7580-4aaa-b8a6-5b2b1ffd6c2b
                © The Author(s) 2019

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef https://doi.org/10.13039/100010661, EC | Horizon 2020 Framework Programme (EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation H2020);
                Award ID: 668119
                Award ID: 668119
                Award ID: 668119
                Award Recipient :
                Categories
                Article
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                © The Author(s) 2019

                Uncategorized
                biomarkers,translational research,biomedical engineering
                Uncategorized
                biomarkers, translational research, biomedical engineering

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