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The purpose of the MEGMRI-project is to develop and validate hybrid magnetoencephalography (MEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology that will allow simultaneous structural and functional imaging of the human brain. This development will improve the localization accuracy of MEG and simplify work flow as no high-field MRI will be necessary. Safety benefits (for patient with pacemakers and other implants, for pregnant women, for infants) are also obvious.
The technical feasibility of the approach, using superconducting SQUID magnetometers, has already been demonstrated by researchers at Berkeley, at Los Alamos and at Berlin. In addition to the SQUID, a new type of magnetometer, so-called mixed sensor, has shown great promise as a highly sensitive magnetic field detector. This development has already involved two of the partners.
Combining Two Technologies
In this project, we will further develop and optimize both SQUID and mixed-sensor technology for hybrid MEG-MRI. We will test MEG-MRI prototypes using both technologies. An essential part of the project is the optimization of the MRI coils and sequences so that clinically valuable images can be obtained in a short measurement time. In addition, signal and image processing algorithms will be developed for MEG and MRI data integration as well as for integration of the low-field MRI with high-field MRI. The latter method will combine the distortion- and susceptibility-artifact-free low-field MRI with the superior resolution of high-field MRI. The prototypes will be tested and validated in preclinical studies during this project.