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WARF: P120316US01

High-Resolution R2 Mapping with Chemical Species Separation


INVENTORS -

Scott Reeder, Diego Hernando Arribas, Valentina Taviani

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing methods for estimating transverse relaxation rate (R2*) while simultaneously performing water-fat separation using MRI.
OVERVIEWIn magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the amount of data required to reconstruct an image can be decreased using ‘partial k-space’ sampling. This type of sampling enables shorter breath-holds, reduced scan time and more flexibility in echo timing.

Such flexibility can improve noise performance and avoid water-fat swapping. It also helps measure transverse relaxation rate, or R2*, which has important applications like assessing iron content in the body and tracking superparamagnetic iron oxides.

However, reconstructions that take advantage of partial k-space sampling show problems. Results may be blurry and lose spatial resolution. Others require increased complexity. A new approach should overcome these drawbacks.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers have developed a method for producing a quantitative map of R2* while separating signal contributions from two or more chemical species, like fat and water.

The method works by producing quantitative R2* maps, quantitative fat fraction maps and separate R2*-corrected water and fat images. A low-resolution field map and a common water-fat phase are used to demodulate the effects of these parameters from the acquired data while separating the water and fat signals.

In this way, water, fat and R2* can be estimated simultaneously. A full resolution R2* map is reconstructed in addition to water, fat and fat fraction images that are corrected for the effects of R2*.
APPLICATIONS
  • Clinical and preclinical imaging, including fat fraction and iron quantification in the presence of iron overload
  • Potentially fat quantification in the absence of iron overload
  • Detecting and tracking superparamagnetic iron oxide particles
KEY BENEFITS
  • Takes better advantage of partial k-space sampling
  • Provides full resolution quantitative R2* maps
  • Enables shorter breath holds and free-breathing scan times
  • Accounts for spectral complexity of fat and T2* signal decay, in contrast to previous methods
  • Works with chemical species other than water and fat, including silicon and hyperpolarized carbon-13
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jeanine Burmania at jeanine@warf.org or 608-960-9846.
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