Research Lab Bench

MCW Researchers Awarded US Patent for fMRI Surface Coil that Produces Faster, Higher-quality Images

Biophysics faculty Richard R. Mett, PhD, adjunct professor; James S. Hyde, PhD, professor emeritus; and Jason W. Sidabras, PhD, assistant professor, are inventors of MCW’s recently issued US Patent 11,385,307 for Strongly Coupled Fourth-Order Resonance Coil Systems for Enhanced Signal Detection.

This patent pertains to a novel receive-only surface coil for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with a significantly higher sensitivity compared with a standard fMRI coil of similar size.

This novel surface coil design overcomes current geometric design limitations and produces higher fMRI resolution along with drastically shorter scanning times for an equivalent coil geometry. It has the potential to be a more effective receiver in clinical surface coil arrays for anatomical and fMRI studies. For example, the novel coil can reduce scanning time from the standard 20 minutes to less than 1 minute or increase the voxel resolution by a factor of 4.

More information on this technology is detailed in the Review of Scientific Instruments articles, “MRI surface-coil pair with strong inductive coupling” and “Meta-metallic coils and resonators: Methods for high Q-value resonant geometries.” Also, the patent can be reviewed online.

If you have questions about this technology or the patenting process, please reach out to the Office of Technology Development.