NeuroBOOST: International Joint Research Project Funded With 1.3 Million Euros

  • 04/17/2024

Coils for ultra-high field magnetic resonance imaging (UHF MRI) cannot - with a few exceptions - be ordered ready-made. Unlike the equipment for the 1.5 or 3 Tesla MRI devices commonly used in hospitals, many UHF MRI coils are designed and built in-house for specific applications. The ELH, too, has its own lab for this purpose.

In an international joint research project, "NeuroBOOST: New pTx RF antennas for head/neck ultra-high-field MRI at 7T, 9.4T and 11.7T", ELH Director Prof Dr Harald H. Quick and his team now aim to develop a new head/neck high-frequency (HF) coil for 7-Tesla high-field MRI.

For this endeavor, three MRI research centres are working together (Erwin L. Hahn Institute, Essen with 7 Tesla; Max Planck Institute for Cybernetics in Tübingen with 9.4 Tesla; and the CEA, Paris with 11.7 Tesla), each developing new head/neck coils for ultra-high-field MRI. The goal of these head/neck coils is to no longer limit the applications of UHF MRI to the brain, but also to visualise the spinal cord in the area of the cervical vertebrae. This would enable neuroscientists to visualise the structural and functional relationships between the brain and spinal cord as simultaneously as possible.

"The joint development of the MRI coils opens up many synergies, as each of the three sites has proven experts, physicists and engineers for all areas of the development process. This means that the ambitious goals can be achieved within an equally ambitious timeframe. In addition to the desired interaction between the three international research groups, this joint project also offers us the exciting opportunity to measure at the world's strongest MRI system in Paris with a magnetic field strength of 11.7 Tesla," explains Prof Harald H. Quick.

The French Research Foundation (ANR) and the German Research Foundation (DFG) are funding the project with a total of around 1.3 million euros over 36 months. The project starts in May 2024.