Development of new radio frequency pulses to improve 7T MRI
The spatial non-uniformity of the main magnetic field (Bo) and the exciting oscillating field (RF - B1 fields) in 7 Tesla MRI scanners presents a real problem for the widespread adoption of these scanners to clinical applications.
Prof Roger Ordidge has been pioneering the development of a new class of MRI pulse sequence designs called STEP pulses that tolerate both non-uniform B1 and B0 fields so that common MRI sequences can work properly at 7 Tesla to take full advantage of the improved resolution and sensitivity of these scanners.
This work is the subject of several patents and is an active and ongoing field of research.
Imaging sodium in the brain
Sodium is critical for neuronal firing and is found in altered concentrations in several brain diseases. Sodium is the second most abundant MRI-visible substance. However, the signal from sodium is around ~20,000 times less than that of water making it difficult to reliably image, even at high field such as 7 Tesla. Our group has been developing new MRI sequences and post-processing techniques to image sodium and study sodium in different parts of the brain.
Developing methods for measuring magnetic susceptibility in the brain
MRI can detect changes in the magnetic field produced by small amounts of magenetically interacting substances like iron. In the brain, iron is found in many forms and can interact with brain cells in ways that might lead to neurodegeneration. Researchers at MBCIU are developing new ways of measuring magnetic susceptibility to detect brain iron using a method known as Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping, or QSM. We are also using QSM to study how iron is deposited in the brains of people with brain diseases like multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease.
Predicting the onset of dementia using Positron Emission Tomography
Our PET/CT projects include Alzheimer’s research trials that image Amyloid, Tau and glucose to qualify and manage therapeutics that include anti-amyloid, anti tau and others.
We have imaged the largest cohorts in the world for trials A4, EARLY, APAD, 3D, Graduate and many more. We also have been among the first to image across the spectrum with a variety of amyloid and tau PET tracers. As well as other tracers to target MS, Parkinsons disease and schizophrenia. We use our CT for other purposes such as imaging drill cores fossils, mummies, sheep, dogs, ancient guns, whale ear bones, cane toads, raptors, Tas Devils and for implants and training robots. And for improving the technology by developing PET/CT itself