J.P. Rigla, J. Borreguero, C. Gramage, E. Pallás, J.M. González, R. Bosch, J.M. Algarín, J.V. Sanchez-Andres, F. Galve, D. Grau-Ruiz, R. Pellicer, A. Ríos, J.M. Benlloch, J. Alonso
We present a magnet and high power electronics for Prepolarized Magnetic Resonance Imaging (PMRI) in a home-made, special-purpose preclinical system designed for simultaneous visualization of hard and soft biological tissues. PMRI boosts the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) by means of a long and strong magnetic pulse which must be rapidly switched off prior to the imaging pulse sequence, in timescales shorter than the spin relaxation (or T1) time of the sample. We have operated the prepolarizer at up to 0.5 T and demonstrated enhanced magnetization, image SNR and tissue contrast with PMRI of tap water, an ex vivo mouse brain and food samples. These have T1 times ranging from hundreds of milli-seconds to single seconds, while the preliminary high-power electronics setup employed in this work can switch off the prepolarization field in tens of milli-seconds. In order to make this system suitable for solid-state matter and hard tissues, which feature T1 times as short as 10 ms, we are developing new electronics which can cut switching times to ~300 us. This does not require changes in the prepolarizer module, opening the door to the first experimental demonstration of PMRI on hard biological tissues.
Comments: 8 pages, 10 figures, 2 tables, comments welcome