DS0404 - Innovation biomédicale

HIGH SENSITIVITY SUPERCONDUCTOR RADIOFREQUENCY PROBES FOR MAGNETIC RESONANCE MICRO IMAGING – SupraSense

Submission summary


SupraSense is an experimental research proposal at the interface of physics and medicine. It aims at the realization of high sensitivity radiofrequency (RF, 1 to 400 MHz used for NMR) probes, dedicated to Micro - Magnetic Resonance Imaging (µIRM). The latter is an imaging technique with high sensitivity needs. The main objective of SupraSense is the development of a specific set up to implement high critical temperature superconducting (HTCS) probes in a static magnetic field. Its originality is the tuning of the superconductive electromagnetic response of the HTCS probes for the requirements of the set-up, and for this, to experimentally characterize the behaviour of the HTCS materials in superposed RF and static magnetic fields, a domain that sports major unexplored areas. The main technological objective represents a major instrumental innovation in the form of a highly sensitive RF coil array comprising 4 miniature HTCS coil elements.
New methods will be tested to monitor the superconducting components of the probes. The highly sensitive detection device will be light, portable, and user-friendly so that it can be put to use in the different imaging systems available in biomedical research centres or in clinical devices. The set up will be designed to optimize sensitivity, one of the critical aspects in µIRM. It will be made up of superficial array of RF coils, fabricated with HTCS materials, and cooled by the cold finger of a Liquid Nitrogen cryostat. Its use will be compatible with existing MRI devices. One of the major issues to be addressed is that of the rapid transition (on a time scale less than a ms) of the device from the superconducting state to the normal state, required for imaging.

To carry out this project, we will focus on two scientific hurdles:
- the ultra fast (< ms) switching of the HTCS sensor coils from the superconducting state to the normal state and vice versa
- the development of a 4 HTCS-coil array, with the goal of electromagnetically decoupling the array elements from one another.

The first hurdle of SupraSense requires the mapping of the behaviour of the HTCS material in static magnetic fields in the presence of RF currents and magnetic fields. More specifically,
• an in-depth study of the RF electromagnetic response and performance of the envisaged yttrium-barium copper oxide films will be carried out, using different techniques.
• a set-up integrating the different physical aspects of the project (cryogenics, superconductivity, electronics…) to allow the fast transition of HCTS state to the normal one and reciprocally will be built, as a proof of concept.
• arrays of HCTS coils to improve the accessible field of view will be developed.
From a practical point of view, SupraSense aims to facilitate:
- the integration of HTCS probes in the MRI device acquisition channel
- the integration of solutions suggested by the fundamental study to develop a lightweight, portable, user-friendly, yet highly sensitive detection device.

Project coordination

Marie Poirier-Quinot (Université Paris Sud - Imagerie par Résonance Magnétique et Multimodalité)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

Upsud - IR4M Université Paris Sud - Imagerie par Résonance Magnétique et Multimodalité

Help of the ANR 265,160 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2014 - 36 Months

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