WARF: P120255US01

Better MRI Performance with Improved 3-D UTE Imaging


Kevin Johnson

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a method for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in which a radial cone k-space trajectory is utilized for rapid and efficient sampling.
OVERVIEWMRI produces medically valuable images of a patient’s internals using magnetic fields and pulses that align and excite nuclei. The signals emitted by excited nuclei can be measured in ‘k-space’ and used to reconstruct an image.

A particular approach, called three-dimensional ultrashort echo time (UTE) imaging, has the potential to visualize areas with short signal times—like the lungs, which often appear blurry in images—and to dramatically improve efficiency. Achieving both benefits in a single scan, however, is challenging. UTE sampling can be fourfold less efficient than other schemes, for example, or suffer from image artifacts. Overcoming these drawbacks is critical.
THE INVENTIONA UW–Madison researcher has developed a method for three-dimensional UTE imaging to maximize k-space coverage. The approach combines radial- and spiral-based techniques.

In the method, an MRI system establishes a radial magnetic field gradient that increases, then decreases in amplitude over time. While increasing, the sampling trajectory extends outward. While decreasing, an oscillating magnetic field gradient is established. The two field gradients together form a sampling trajectory that spirals outward in a cone.
  • MRI, especially when imaging areas with rapid signal decay
  • Imaging tendons, ligaments and superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO)-labeled stem cells
  • Readily implemented
  • Rapid and efficient sampling
  • Reduced streak artifacts
  • Images show better edge detail.
  • Diffuse point spread function
  • Method is compatible with Highly Constrained Backprojected Reconstruction (HYPR), compressed sensing and other diffuse undersampling methods.
  • Johnson K.M. 2012. Radial-Cones: A New Sampling Scheme for Compressed Sensing Accelerated 3D Ultrashort Echo Time Imaging. ISMRM 20th Annual Meeting.
Tech Fields
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jeanine Burmania at or 608-960-9846.
The WARF Advantage

Since its founding in 1925 as the patenting and licensing organization for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WARF has been working with business and industry to transform university research into products that benefit society. WARF intellectual property managers and licensing staff members are leaders in the field of university-based technology transfer. They are familiar with the intricacies of patenting, have worked with researchers in relevant disciplines, understand industries and markets, and have negotiated innovative licensing strategies to meet the individual needs of business clients.