In magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) therapy sound waves are focused through the body to selectively ablate difficult to access lesions and tissues. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner non-invasively tracks the temperature increase throughout the tissue to guide the therapy. In clinical MRI, tightly fitted hardware comprised of multichannel coil arrays are required to capture high quality images at high spatiotemporal resolution. Ablating tissue requires a clear path for acoustic energy to travel but current array materials scatter and attenuate acoustic energy. As a result coil arrays are placed outside of the transducer, clear of the beam path, compromising imaging speed, resolution, and temperature accuracy of the scan. Here we show that when coil arrays are fabricated by additive manufacturing (i.e., printing), they exhibit acoustic transparency as high as 89.5%. This allows the coils to be placed in the beam path increasing the image signal to noise ratio (SNR) five-fold in phantoms and volunteers. We also characterize printed coil materials properties over time when submerged in the water required for acoustic coupling. These arrays offer high SNR and acceleration capabilities, which can address current challenges in treating head and abdominal tumors allowing MRgFUS to give patients better outcomes.
Scientific Reports – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 21, 2018
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