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Development of a novel multimodal molecular imaging approach to guide intra operative tumor resection and post-operative treatment planning
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Image enhancement for low-field MRI

Year:

Investigators: Justin Haldar; Jay Acharya

Investigators: Justin Haldar; Jay Acharya

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a powerful medical imaging tool, but is limited by its high cost and lack of accessibility.  Given the modern importance of affordable and broadly-accessible healthcare, there is a major need to mitigate these limitations without compromising diagnostic capabilities.  For conventional MRI scanners, a substantial portion of cost and accessibility is associated with the use of a very strong homogeneous magnetic field, where the high field strength enables higher image quality.  The guiding hypothesis of this project is that the development of novel image enhancement technologies will enable diagnostic images to be obtained from less-expensive and more-accessible low-field MRI systems, representing a new pathway to achieve higher-value and more-ubiquitous MRI.  Our exploration of this idea is enabled by a unique high-performance low-field MRI scanner that was recently installed at the University of Southern California.  The proposed project involves two components.  First, our team of engineers and medical doctors will work together to develop novel physics-based image enhancement technology that will allow low-field MRI images to have similar diagnostic quality to the images obtained from modern high-field clinical MRI scanners.  Second, we will acquire actual low-field MRI datasets from patients who have survived from stroke, which will be used to evaluate the clinical utility of this novel approach.  If successful, this project will represent an important step towards more cost-effective clinical MRI scans, and will produce novel image enhancement technology as well as unique preliminary data and results that can serve as the basis for future external funding applications.