WARF: P150328US01

Improved Phantom for Iron and Fat Quantification MRI


Scott Reeder, Diego Hernando Arribas, Samir Sharma

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a more accurate water-fat-iron phantom.
OVERVIEWThe ability to quantify fat concentration in the body has become increasingly important given the rise in obesity and related comorbidities. Likewise, the ability to quantify iron concentration is important for monitoring patients receiving treatment for hemochromatosis (an iron overload disorder) as well as routine blood transfusions (i.e., hemosiderosis).

Since fat and iron often coexist in organs such as the liver, pancreas and bone marrow, MRI-based quantification techniques have developed rapidly over the past decade to meet this challenge. Validating these techniques using MR phantoms is a critical prerequisite to their widespread clinical translation. However, current phantom designs for fat and iron do not accurately replicate the signal behavior observed in vivo and therefore are not reliable.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers have designed a phantom that accurately reflects in vivo MRI signal behavior in the presence of both fat and iron. The key innovation is that the new phantom is constructed using a lipid emulsion substrate with superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) particles that are proportionately larger than the fat particles, such that the field from those particles encompasses the entirety of the fat signals.
  • Quality assurance/calibration phantom for MR systems, specifically for fat-iron quantification imaging protocols
  • More accurate and reliable
  • Constructed with commercially available materials
  • Designed to achieve a wide range of fat and iron concentrations
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENTInitial experiments have demonstrated that the larger microspheres result in single R*2 signal decay behavior that closely mimics that of water and fat in vivo.
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Michael Carey at or 608-960-9867.
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