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NMR and MRI apparatus and method

United States Patent

March 6, 2007
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Management Department Website
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) signals are detected in microtesla fields. Prepolarization in millitesla fields is followed by detection with an untuned dc superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometer. Because the sensitivity of the SQUID is frequency independent, both signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and spectral resolution are enhanced by detecting the NMR signal in extremely low magnetic fields, where the NMR lines become very narrow even for grossly inhomogeneous measurement fields. Additional signal to noise benefits are obtained by use of a low noise polarization coil, comprising litz wire or superconducting materials. MRI in ultralow magnetic field is based on the NMR at ultralow fields. Gradient magnetic fields are applied, and images are constructed from the detected NMR signals.
Clarke; John (Berkeley, CA), Kelso; Nathan (Albany, CA), Lee; SeungKyun (Berkeley, CA), Moessle; Michael (Berkeley, CA), Myers; Whittier (Berkeley, CA), McDermott; Robert (Santa Barbara, CA), ten Haken; Bernard (Enschede, NL), Pines; Alexander (Berkeley, CA), Trabesinger; Andreas (Zurich, CH)
The Regents of the University of California (Oakland, CA)
10/ 980,984
November 3, 2004
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC03-76SF00098 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California.