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NEUMARE - Neural probe behaviour in magnetic resonance

Project description

Neural implants help patients after brain trauma or spinal cord injury, as well as patients suffering from severe neurological diseases, by either modulating the brain activity, or by interpreting activity patterns to control assistive devices. Diagnoses of trauma, progressive diseases, or side effects, are non-invasively monitored by means of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in state-of-the-art clinical practice. However, the interactions of implants with the strong magnetic and electric fields may result in patient injuries or device damage. In particular, the magnetic field can exhibit force on metallic components, device heating can result in tissue burns, induced currents and voltages can elicit unintended electrical stimulation and the diagnostic value can be compromised by imaging artefacts. This project aims at overcoming the associated restrictions of implant recipients in MRI by investigating the underlying mechanisms of implant and MR-environment interactions and drawing conclusions of how to prevent them. To do so, a custom made experimental setup in high field MR was developed to study imaging artefacts of implant components. The results were used in a direct feedback loop to optimize current material and geometry aspects of implant manufacturing procedures. Besides, anautomatic magnetic susceptibility measurement method has been established that yielded an extensive catalogue of material data as design input for neural implant development. Furthermore, the experimental setup is now enhancedby highresolutionoptical microscopy which also will allow for 3D thermal mapping and characterization of implant vibrations due to occurring forces. With that we move from mostly qualitative to quantitative results. This will be addressed by deriving estimates and quantitative measurements for the effects of force/vibrations and radio frequency induced heating to then transfer this knowledge into design rules for achieving MR compatible implants.

Start/End of project

01.03.2014 until 31.12.2018

Project manager

Dr. Matthias C. Wapler

Contact person

Prof. Dr. Thomas Stieglitz
Phone:203- 7471


Prof. Dr. Thomas Stieglitz, Dr. Matthias Wapler, Prof. Dr. Dr. Jürgen Hennig, Prof. Dr. Jan G. Korvink


BrainLinks BrainTools - Cluster of Excellence


Neural implants, Magnetic resonance imaging, MRI safety, Imaging artefacts of implants; magnetic susceptibility
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