Available Technology


It has been discovered that a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) phantom provides a structure having an internal volume and sample receiver for disposal of a sample in the MRI phantom and from which MRI data is acquired for determination of performance of an MRI device. Such determination can provide a comparison between the quality of operation of the MRI device over time as well as performance of the MRI device between another MRI device or comparison of MRI data to a standard image or data set, and the like. MRI data acquired using the MRI phantom can be used to validate disease mechanisms and treatments or reduce medical costs and provision of imaging service by improving image quality and reliability.  Additionally, the MRI phantom can be used in multisite clinical trials for quantitative MRI or to test efficacy of novel drugs.

Beneficially, images taken on different MRI machines are comparable when using the MRI phantom because the MRI phantom can be subjected to imaging over a time interval. Further, the MRI phantom provides MRI data of diffusion, e.g., of a fluid such as water in a presence of a constant or substantially constant temperature in the MRI phantom without inclusion of a thermal effect on the fluid. A process for diffusion-weighted MRI includes using the MRI phantom to determine an apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) in vivo for the sample disposed in the MRI phantom.

Specific design features unique to the MRI phantom device are the removable fill ports (primary and secondary) to facilitate the addition of ice water and a design constraint of no dimension larger than 194 nm to permit use in commercial MRI radiofrequency coils.  Sloped structures on the main phantom shell body and the fill port undersides have been designed to easily remove air bubbles that would otherwise lead to a poor-quality magnetic resonance image.  The fill ports also incorporate a handle feature to make lifting them off the main phantom shell body easy.  A secondary fill port inside of the main fill port enables topping off of the phantom with water to leave no air bubbles at all, while also providing access to the center of the assembled phantom for temperature measurement by use of a long-stem thermocouple.  Inset equatorial fasteners allow for a smooth outer dimension, allowing rotation.  The distribution of vials within the interior of the phantom permits determination of spatial dependence of magnetic resonance parameters.

The figure below is a perspective view of the MRI phantom.  It includes sample holder (150) disposed in internal volume (10) formed by first wall (12) of the first portion (6) and second wall (14) of second portion (8). Sample holder (150) includes a plurality of platforms (152154156160) that are stacked and spaced apart by spacer 166. Platforms (152154156160) include sample receiver (162) bounded by wall (164) that is configured to receive a sample member. 


A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) phantom includes an outer container that includes a first portion comprising a first wall; a second portion opposingly disposed to the first portion and sealingly engaged to the first portion, the second portion including a second wall; and an internal volume bounded by the first wall and the second wall, the internal volume being hollow and configured to receive a fluid; and a sample holder disposed in the internal volume of the outer container, wherein the MRI phantom is configured to maintain a constant temperature of the internal volume. A process for acquiring an MRI image includes providing an MRI; disposing a sample member in the sample holder; disposing a fluid in the MRI phantom; disposing the MRI phantom in an MRI device; achieving thermal equilibrium in the MRI phantom at a selected temperature; and subjecting the MRI phantom to MRI imaging at the selected temperature to acquire the MRI image of the sample.

Michael Boss
Patent Number: 
Technology Type(s): 
Analytical Chemistry, Manufacturing, Health Care, Biochemical Science, Physical and Chemical Properties, Mechanical
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
Patent Issue Date: 
September 25, 2018
Lab Representatives
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Google Plus Share to Linkedin