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Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 4R44MH119843-02
Agency Tracking Number: R44MH119843
Amount: $1,289,317.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 101
Solicitation Number: PA18-871
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-05-10
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-04-30
Small Business Information
Cleveland, OH 44114-3834
United States
DUNS: 964729032
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (216) 426-1461
Business Contact
Phone: (216) 426-1461
Research Institution

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a safe, non-ionizing diagnostic tool. The overall goal of this
project is to arrive very close to the ultimate intrinsic signal to noise ratio (UISNR) for a given MRI
magnet field strength by combining innovations in very advanced transceiver technology. In Phase I, a
high performance head RF coil receiver array will be prototyped and SNR performance compared to an
existing commercial product. Emphasis in Phase II will be towards Phase I coil optimization, mechanical
housing design followed by systematic phantom validation.MRI is the preferred method for examining soft tissue structures. However MRI signals are weak due
to the small difference in energy levels population of parallel and anti-parallel spins (~6ppm at 1.5T) that
contribute to the signal. Clinical MRI exams demand high resolution and/or fast scanning. Since SNR is
the main limitation on fulfilling these requirements, it is the most important parameter of MRI systems.MRI SNR can be increased by signal averaging at the expense of lengthy scan times. Pursuit of
higher SNR on one hand has resulted in a shift toward the use of higher static magnetic fields which is
expensive and has siting and safety issues. On the other hand, we are rapidly approaching limitations in
MRI systems with greater number of receiver channels.We propose novel innovations to optimize MRI SNR for a given magnet field strength. Generally SNR
can be increased by increasing the signal strength or by reducing noise. We propose novel combinations
to achieve maximum, near ultimate intrinsic MRI SNR by efficiently accomplishing both. The technology
proposed has broad applications within and outside of MRI. A successful project will improve the MR
image quality in shorter scan times thereby alleviating burden on high cost, high magnet field based MRI
systems. The work proposed is original.MRI is a safe, non-invasive diagnostic imaging tool and can be used to obtain detailed anatomical,
vascular, biochemical and functional information from the brain, spine, heart, major organs such as
liver, kidney etc. including bones and joints. But effective diagnosis depends on the quality of the MR
image, which can be improved by going to high magnet field strengths or by increasing the number of
receiver channels, both are expensive and are approaching their limits. We propose to use
supplementary technologies aimed at maximizing MRI image quality with the intention of alleviating
the burden placed on high cost, high magnet field based MRI systems.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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