Zero-Field MRI to Enhance Diagnosis of Neurodegeneration

Lead Research Organisation: University of Aberdeen
Department Name: Division of Applied Medicine

Abstract

Neurodegenerative diseases present major public health concerns, with over 0.85m cases in the UK (expected to double by 2040 due to an ageing population) at an annual cost to the economy of >£23bn. There is an urgent need for neuroprotective agents that could be used early to slow disease progression, but none currently exist. The major barrier is the difficulty of early diagnosis (when agents are most likely to be effective) and the lack of robust biomarkers (to measure drug efficacy). Thus the prospect of non-invasive early diagnosis and therapy monitoring using new medical imaging technologies is compelling.

In this project we plan to develop a radically new diagnostic imaging method, called Zero-Field (ZF) MRI. Due to its ability to use interactions that are completely masked at the high magnetic fields used by normal MRI scanners, ZF-MRI should have exquisite sensitivity to molecular changes in brain tissue, bringing the possibility of early diagnosis. The challenge is to develop imaging technology that will enable pre-symptomatic diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases associated with abnormal protein aggregation, particularly Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

In our recent research we have developed technology and methods of a new type of MRI called Fast Field-Cycling MRI (FFC-MRI). In this technique (which requires very special magnets, power supplies and control electronics) the magnetic field is switched rapidly between levels, always returning to the same field for signal detection. In ZF-MRI the magnetic field will be held at zero for part of the procedure, during which time the special zero-field interactions will take place. In this manner, the resulting images of the brain will contain information about brain structure and function at the molecular and cellular levels, which has hitherto been invisible to MRI.

Work will be carried out using an existing human-sized FFC-MRI scanner that we have built in our laboratories. In order to employ it fr ZF-MRI we will devise methods to cancel the Earth's field within the volume of the scanner, using cancellation coils along with the scanner's shim coils. New techniques will be developed to measure and minimise the residual magnetic field. Several magnetic resonance phenomena are known to exist at zero field and we will develop methods to exploit them for enhanced diagnosis. They include, for example, the tiny magnetic fields generated by atoms within protein molecules. These magnetic fields are insignificant compared to the very strong magnetic fields used in conventional hospital MRI scanners. However, by operating at zero magnetic field (for part of the scanning procedure) ZF-MRI will be exceptionally sensitive to changes in these magnetic fields, and hence to the tissue structure and content.

Tests of ZF-MRI will be carried out using tissue-mimicking test samples made of gels and other chemicals, then protein aggregates of the kind we expect to encounter in patients' brains, followed by pre-clinical studies. This will allow us to determine the sensitivity of ZF-MRI to subtle changes in tissue composition and molecular dynamics. Later in the project we will scan patients (subject to ethical approval) who are known to have neurodegenerative conditions, together with normal volunteers, and will compare the results obtained from ZF-MRI with brain scans obtained on our 3-tesla conventional MRI scanner.

Planned Impact

Who will benefit from this research?
* Patients with a range of neurodegenerative medical conditions.
* Hospital radiology departments and neurology departments.
* Universities, research institutes and hospitals conducting research into MRI, neuroradiology and neurodegenerative disease.
* Pharmaceutical companies developing new drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions.
* Large medical imaging companies which manufacture and supply MRI systems.
* Smaller companies (SMEs) supplying components to medical imaging companies.
* Research staff working on the project.

How will the beneficiaries benefit from this research?
The research has the potential to detect changes in the brain arising from neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, and to do so at a significantly earlier stage of the disease than is possible with present diagnostic imaging technology. Patients will benefit from earlier diagnosis, leading to earlier and more effective treatment. In this way the research will contribute to the health and wellbeing of the general population.
Hospitals will benefit from the ability to diagnose and treat neurodegenerative conditions earlier than before.
Universities and research institutes will benefit from having at their disposal a new method of detecting changes in the brain caused by neurodegenerative disease. This will benefit research into these medical conditions.
Pharmaceutical companies will benefit from the ability to measure biomarkers of neurodegenerative disease, in turn informing them about the effectiveness of neuroprotective agents, or of drugs to halt or reverse neurodegeneration.
Manufacturers of MRI systems will benefit from increased sales of MRI systems. Companies could manufacture dedicated ZF-MRI scanners, and there is also the potential for them to produce add-on hardware to enable ZF-MRI to be implemented on some existing MRI scanners, which are capable of being upgraded by the add-on field-cycling hardware. Companies supplying ZF-MRI scanners would benefit from the increased exposure in the market that association with the novel technique will bring.
Research staff working on the project will benefit from working with novel diagnostic technology, and from direct contacts with clinical and biomedical researchers. The project will enhance research staff members' knowledge, and will make them more employable, in universities, research institutes, hospitals and industry.

When will the benefits arise?
The research staff will benefit throughout the period of the project, and after it has finished due to the extra skills and knowledge gained. MRI manufacturers will benefit as soon as they are able to bring the product to market, typically 2-5 years after the project end. Hospitals and other users of the technology will benefit once the ZF-MRI technology is installed in their institute, 2-5 years after completion of the project. Patients will start to benefit as soon as the technology is installed in hospitals and research institutes, and the benefit to these communities will increase as the number of ZF-MRI scanners increases over the following 5-10 years. With more ZF-MRI scanners in use, knowledge about their benefits will spread among the potential user community, further increasing the number of units sold, to the benefit of manufacturers, users and society at large.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The project was concerned with developing the technology of Fast Field-Cycling Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FFC-MRI) and investigating the sensitivity of this new imaging method to changes in brain tissues arising from neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and Parkinson's Disease (PD). Previous work in our laboratory had demonstrated the sensitivity of FFC-MRI to a number of disease states, including osteoarthritis (changes in cartilage could be measured) and thrombosis (the blood clotting process could be monitored). This led us to hypothesise that abnormal proteins called tau and amyloid, known to be associated with AD, could be detectable by FFC-MRI.
The key technological goals of the project, which were mainly achieved were concerned with optimising aspects of the FFC-MRI scanner's hardware and software and developing methods to extend measurements to extremely low magnetic fields, even below the value of the earth's magnetic field. To this end, methods to characterise reliably the environmental magnetic field within the scanner were developed and techniques to counteract or offset those magnetic fields were investigated, including the construction of large, three-axis field-offset coils surrounding the scanner. Improved techniques for cancelling environmental fields, applicable to this project, were also developed under a separately-funded PhD research project. In addition, novel software solutions were devised in order to correct for artefacts (errors) in FFC-MRI images that can arise due to instability of the scanner's magnetic field.
Despite the technological progress, efforts to demonstrate the sensitivity of FFC-MRI or Zero-Field MRI to neurodegenartive changes in the brain have so far been unsuccessful. It is thought that this might be because the preclinical disease models employed, although useful in some areas of brain research, may not mimic sufficiently well the changes in brain tissues arising from actual diseases such as AD. at least as far as the FFC-MRI signals are concerned. It is also possible that the anticipated protein-related signals were not observed in preclinical models because these were whole-brain studies, while the primary changes are expected to occur in localised regions of the brain; thus, there may have been a "dilution" of the effect. We further hypothesised that the sensitivity of FFC-MRI and ZF-MRI to these conditions may be revealed only in scans of the brains of living human subjects. During 2018, a small group of patients with Alzheimer's disease was recruited to a study wihch involved FFC-MRI scans and standard MRI scans. The results indicated that FFC-MRI was not sufficiently sensitive to detect neurodegenerative lesions in these patients, at least with curremnt FFC-MRI technology. Although not anticipated in the original proposal, the prototype scanner was used (beginning November 2017) to scan the brains of patients with ischaemic stroke. This study, called "PUFFINS", continued throughout 2018, with results showing that extra "contrast" is seen in FFC-MRI compared to existing imaging methods, such as X-ray CT scanning. The contrast in FFC-MRI is maximised at ultra-low magnetic fields, such as 0.2 mT, which is only four times the value of the Earth's magnetic field at northern latitudes.
Exploitation Route Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has developed into an indispensible diagnostoic tool, with 10s of thousands of scanners in use every day around the world to diagnose disease in patients. It has already been demonstrated by us that Fast Field-Cycling MRI (FFC-MRI) can detect disease-induced changes in the body in a number of conditions (albeit not yet in neurodegenerative conditions). The technological advancements achieved during this project have brought FFC-MRI and its variant Zero-Field MRI (ZF-MRI) significantly closer to devices that could be used for clinical diagnosis in hospitals. The technology can therefore potentially benefit medical professionals and patients, by providing a new diagnostic tool that is complementary to existing non-invasive methods. The medical imaging manufacturing industry may benefit from the exploitation of this new technology, and ultimately from sales in the health sector.
Sectors Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

URL http://www.abdn.ac.uk/research/ffc-mri/publications.html
 
Description The work carried out under this award has led to significantly increased awareness of the new field of Fast Field-Cycling MRI and its potential for the enhanced and diagnosis of disease. The work carried out under this award has led to significantly increased awareness of the new field of Fast Field-Cycling MRI and its potential for the enhanced and diagnosis of disease. The work on ultra-low field FFC-MRI carried out during this award was important in putting together a multidisciplinary consortium of researchers, led by the University of Aberdeen, which succeeded in obtaining funding from the EU for a Horizon 2020 research project on FFC-MRI, aimed at taking the technology closer to clinical use. The consortium includes 7 academic teams and two SMEs. In November 2017 the first clinical scans using FFC-MRI were carried out at the University of Aberdeen, imaging patients who had recently suffered a stroke. The research generated significant media interest and enhanced the visibility of the project. During 2018 additional paients were studied by FFC-MRI; the results obtained indicated the potential of FFC-MRI for enhanced diagnosis of brain lesions. Our work, and the resulting increased exposure and awareness of the medical applications of relaxometry and FFC-MRI at extremely low magnetic fields, contributed to the award of an EU-funded "COST Action" on relaxometry, "European Network on NMR Relaxometry" (COST Action CA15209). David Lurie was appointed as Vice-Chair of the Action.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Education,Healthcare
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description European Union Horizon 2020
Amount € 6,597,377 (EUR)
Funding ID 668119 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2016 
End 12/2019
 
Description Magnetic Resonance Techniques for Explosives Detection
Amount £36,738 (GBP)
Funding ID DSTLX1000109854 
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 03/2017
 
Description Magnetic Resonance Techniques for Explosives Detection
Amount £33,997 (GBP)
Funding ID DSTLX1000121990 
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 04/2018
 
Description Magnetic Resonance Techniques for Explosives Detection
Amount £64,228 (GBP)
Funding ID DSTLX-1000132593 
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 11/2018
 
Description Sensitivity Enhancement Techniques for Magnetic Resonance
Amount £126,202 (GBP)
Funding ID DSTL/AGR/00316/01 
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2015 
End 12/2015
 
Title Two-point method for faster acquisition of FFC-MRI images 
Description This dataset contains the data created for the development of the two-points method. The algorithm derived from the two-point method is presented in the paper Rapid multi-field T-1 estimation algorithm for Fast Field-Cycling MRI Broche, L. M., Ross, P. J., Pine, K. J. & Lurie, D. J. Jan 2014 In : Journal of Magnetic Resonance. 238, p. 44-51 8 p. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Impact information pending 
URL http://pure.abdn.ac.uk:8080/portal/en/datasets/twopoint-method-for-faster-acquisition-of-ffcmri-imag...
 
Description Multi-partner collaboration on Aberdeen-led H2020 project, "IDentIFY" 
Organisation CEA-Leti
Country France 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Collaborative research, which led to the joint preparation, and subsequent award, of a multi-partner EU Horizon 2020 grant (Project "IDentIFY", "Enhancing Diagnosis by Fast Field-Cycling MRI", Grant Agreement 668119, EUR 6.60m, 48 months from January 2016, led by the University of Aberdeen (Lurie)). The collaboration has involved research visits and short-term exchanges of personnel between laboratories, as well as scientific meetings.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research, which led to the joint preparation, and subsequent award, of a multi-partner EU Horizon 2020 grant (Project "IDentIFY", "Enhancing Diagnosis by Fast Field-Cycling MRI", Grant Agreement 668119, EUR 6.60m, 48 months from January 2016, led by the University of Aberdeen (Lurie)). The collaboration has involved research visits and short-term exchanges of personnel between laboratories, as well as scientific meetings.
Impact A number of conference abstracts have been published.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Multi-partner collaboration on Aberdeen-led H2020 project, "IDentIFY" 
Organisation French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Collaborative research, which led to the joint preparation, and subsequent award, of a multi-partner EU Horizon 2020 grant (Project "IDentIFY", "Enhancing Diagnosis by Fast Field-Cycling MRI", Grant Agreement 668119, EUR 6.60m, 48 months from January 2016, led by the University of Aberdeen (Lurie)). The collaboration has involved research visits and short-term exchanges of personnel between laboratories, as well as scientific meetings.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research, which led to the joint preparation, and subsequent award, of a multi-partner EU Horizon 2020 grant (Project "IDentIFY", "Enhancing Diagnosis by Fast Field-Cycling MRI", Grant Agreement 668119, EUR 6.60m, 48 months from January 2016, led by the University of Aberdeen (Lurie)). The collaboration has involved research visits and short-term exchanges of personnel between laboratories, as well as scientific meetings.
Impact A number of conference abstracts have been published.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Multi-partner collaboration on Aberdeen-led H2020 project, "IDentIFY" 
Organisation International Electric Company Ltd
Country Finland 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Collaborative research, which led to the joint preparation, and subsequent award, of a multi-partner EU Horizon 2020 grant (Project "IDentIFY", "Enhancing Diagnosis by Fast Field-Cycling MRI", Grant Agreement 668119, EUR 6.60m, 48 months from January 2016, led by the University of Aberdeen (Lurie)). The collaboration has involved research visits and short-term exchanges of personnel between laboratories, as well as scientific meetings.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research, which led to the joint preparation, and subsequent award, of a multi-partner EU Horizon 2020 grant (Project "IDentIFY", "Enhancing Diagnosis by Fast Field-Cycling MRI", Grant Agreement 668119, EUR 6.60m, 48 months from January 2016, led by the University of Aberdeen (Lurie)). The collaboration has involved research visits and short-term exchanges of personnel between laboratories, as well as scientific meetings.
Impact A number of conference abstracts have been published.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Multi-partner collaboration on Aberdeen-led H2020 project, "IDentIFY" 
Organisation National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM)
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Collaborative research, which led to the joint preparation, and subsequent award, of a multi-partner EU Horizon 2020 grant (Project "IDentIFY", "Enhancing Diagnosis by Fast Field-Cycling MRI", Grant Agreement 668119, EUR 6.60m, 48 months from January 2016, led by the University of Aberdeen (Lurie)). The collaboration has involved research visits and short-term exchanges of personnel between laboratories, as well as scientific meetings.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research, which led to the joint preparation, and subsequent award, of a multi-partner EU Horizon 2020 grant (Project "IDentIFY", "Enhancing Diagnosis by Fast Field-Cycling MRI", Grant Agreement 668119, EUR 6.60m, 48 months from January 2016, led by the University of Aberdeen (Lurie)). The collaboration has involved research visits and short-term exchanges of personnel between laboratories, as well as scientific meetings.
Impact A number of conference abstracts have been published.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Multi-partner collaboration on Aberdeen-led H2020 project, "IDentIFY" 
Organisation Stelar s.r.l.
Country Italy 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Collaborative research, which led to the joint preparation, and subsequent award, of a multi-partner EU Horizon 2020 grant (Project "IDentIFY", "Enhancing Diagnosis by Fast Field-Cycling MRI", Grant Agreement 668119, EUR 6.60m, 48 months from January 2016, led by the University of Aberdeen (Lurie)). The collaboration has involved research visits and short-term exchanges of personnel between laboratories, as well as scientific meetings.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research, which led to the joint preparation, and subsequent award, of a multi-partner EU Horizon 2020 grant (Project "IDentIFY", "Enhancing Diagnosis by Fast Field-Cycling MRI", Grant Agreement 668119, EUR 6.60m, 48 months from January 2016, led by the University of Aberdeen (Lurie)). The collaboration has involved research visits and short-term exchanges of personnel between laboratories, as well as scientific meetings.
Impact A number of conference abstracts have been published.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Multi-partner collaboration on Aberdeen-led H2020 project, "IDentIFY" 
Organisation Technical University Ilmenau
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaborative research, which led to the joint preparation, and subsequent award, of a multi-partner EU Horizon 2020 grant (Project "IDentIFY", "Enhancing Diagnosis by Fast Field-Cycling MRI", Grant Agreement 668119, EUR 6.60m, 48 months from January 2016, led by the University of Aberdeen (Lurie)). The collaboration has involved research visits and short-term exchanges of personnel between laboratories, as well as scientific meetings.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research, which led to the joint preparation, and subsequent award, of a multi-partner EU Horizon 2020 grant (Project "IDentIFY", "Enhancing Diagnosis by Fast Field-Cycling MRI", Grant Agreement 668119, EUR 6.60m, 48 months from January 2016, led by the University of Aberdeen (Lurie)). The collaboration has involved research visits and short-term exchanges of personnel between laboratories, as well as scientific meetings.
Impact A number of conference abstracts have been published.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Multi-partner collaboration on Aberdeen-led H2020 project, "IDentIFY" 
Organisation University of Grenoble
Department Grenoble Electrical Engineering laboratory
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaborative research, which led to the joint preparation, and subsequent award, of a multi-partner EU Horizon 2020 grant (Project "IDentIFY", "Enhancing Diagnosis by Fast Field-Cycling MRI", Grant Agreement 668119, EUR 6.60m, 48 months from January 2016, led by the University of Aberdeen (Lurie)). The collaboration has involved research visits and short-term exchanges of personnel between laboratories, as well as scientific meetings.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research, which led to the joint preparation, and subsequent award, of a multi-partner EU Horizon 2020 grant (Project "IDentIFY", "Enhancing Diagnosis by Fast Field-Cycling MRI", Grant Agreement 668119, EUR 6.60m, 48 months from January 2016, led by the University of Aberdeen (Lurie)). The collaboration has involved research visits and short-term exchanges of personnel between laboratories, as well as scientific meetings.
Impact A number of conference abstracts have been published.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Multi-partner collaboration on Aberdeen-led H2020 project, "IDentIFY" 
Organisation University of Turin
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaborative research, which led to the joint preparation, and subsequent award, of a multi-partner EU Horizon 2020 grant (Project "IDentIFY", "Enhancing Diagnosis by Fast Field-Cycling MRI", Grant Agreement 668119, EUR 6.60m, 48 months from January 2016, led by the University of Aberdeen (Lurie)). The collaboration has involved research visits and short-term exchanges of personnel between laboratories, as well as scientific meetings.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research, which led to the joint preparation, and subsequent award, of a multi-partner EU Horizon 2020 grant (Project "IDentIFY", "Enhancing Diagnosis by Fast Field-Cycling MRI", Grant Agreement 668119, EUR 6.60m, 48 months from January 2016, led by the University of Aberdeen (Lurie)). The collaboration has involved research visits and short-term exchanges of personnel between laboratories, as well as scientific meetings.
Impact A number of conference abstracts have been published.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Multi-partner collaboration on Aberdeen-led H2020 project, "IDentIFY" 
Organisation University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn
Country Poland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaborative research, which led to the joint preparation, and subsequent award, of a multi-partner EU Horizon 2020 grant (Project "IDentIFY", "Enhancing Diagnosis by Fast Field-Cycling MRI", Grant Agreement 668119, EUR 6.60m, 48 months from January 2016, led by the University of Aberdeen (Lurie)). The collaboration has involved research visits and short-term exchanges of personnel between laboratories, as well as scientific meetings.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative research, which led to the joint preparation, and subsequent award, of a multi-partner EU Horizon 2020 grant (Project "IDentIFY", "Enhancing Diagnosis by Fast Field-Cycling MRI", Grant Agreement 668119, EUR 6.60m, 48 months from January 2016, led by the University of Aberdeen (Lurie)). The collaboration has involved research visits and short-term exchanges of personnel between laboratories, as well as scientific meetings.
Impact A number of conference abstracts have been published.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Aberdeen University May Festival public lecture on "The Hidden World of MRI" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public lecture given by David Lurie, as part of the annual May Festival at the University of Aberdeen. The lecture was entitled "The Hidden World of MRI".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.identify-project.eu/public-engagement/may-festival-aberdeen-2017/
 
Description British Science Week PE lectures 2018 (Broche and MacLeod) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talks by Dr. Lionel Broche and Dr. Mary-Joan MacLeod at an evening event during British Science Week. The talks were held at the Medical School of Aberdeen University and the event was titled "What is an FFC-MRI scanner and how can it benefit patients?" Dr. Broche spoke about the basic physics behind FFC-MRI, while Dr. MacLeod spoke about the FFC-MRI work in Aberdeen and how it was being used to study patients who had had a stroke.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.identify-project.eu/public-engagement/british-science-week-talks/
 
Description British Science Week lab tours (2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Open Labs event, as part of British Science Week, 2018. Groups were taken to visit the FFC-MRI labs at Aberdeen University, and to see the original "Mark-I" MRI scanner which is on display at the Suttie Arts Space within ABerdeen Royal Infirmary.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.identify-project.eu/public-engagement/british-science-week-scanners-/
 
Description Cafe Scientifique public lecture on "MRI scanning: a magnetic window to the body" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public lecture given by David Lurie, in the "Cafe Scientifique" series. Lecture was at Waterstone's bookshop in Aberdeen city centre. In addition to the audience of approximately 100 people, the event was streamed live on the Aberdeen Cafe Scientifique Facebook page; this has been viewed over 400 times. The title of the talk was "MRI scanning: a magnetic window to the body".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.facebook.com/CafeScientifiqueAberdeenCity/videos/1714259268646482/
 
Description Doors Open Day lab tours (2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Tours of the FFC-MRI laboratories within Aberdeen University Medical School were organised, as part of Doors Open Day, in September 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.identify-project.eu/public-engagement/doors-open-day-2018/
 
Description Exhibit on FFC-MRI at European Researchers' Night event (Sept 2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact David Lurie and James Ross manned an interactive exhibit at Aberdeen Science Centre, as part of "Explorathon" during European Researchers' Night (29th September 2017). The exhibit included posters on MRI and FFC-MRI as well as models and small equipment to demonstrate the principles of MRI.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.identify-project.eu/public-engagement/european-researchers-night-aberdeen/
 
Description Interactive lecture on MRI physics and current research at Belfast High School (2016) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact I gave a one-hour lecture, attended by approximately 30 senior school pupils who were studying A-level physics. My talk covered the basic physics of MRI and touched on our current research on field-cycled / zero-field MRI for enhanced diagnosis. The talk initiated questions about MRI and about potential careers in medical physics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Laboratory tours as part of "Open Doors" event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Guided tours of the FFC-MRI laboratory were conducted by Research Fellow Dr. James Ross. The tours were conducted as part of an Open Doors event at the University of Aberdeen and at other organisations in the area, in September 2016. Approximately 30 members of the public joined the tours; there was significant interest and many of the attendees asked questions about the technology and the ongoing research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Live interview on Radio Scotland's "Good Morning Scotland" programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact David Lurie was interviewed live, "on-air", about the Fast Field-Cycling MRI researchproject and the fact that the first patients were being scanned by the prototype scanner at Aberdeen University. The interview went out at approximately 6:45am on 21st November 2017. There was also an item on the BBC News web site.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-42054305
 
Description Press release: "First-ever patients scanned by new generation MRI scanner" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The University of Aberdeen issued a press release on 21st November 2017, to mark the first patients being scanned by Fast Field-Cycling MRI. The press release included quotes from Prof. David Lurie (team leader) and from Dr. Mary Joan MacLeod, stroke consultant.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.abdn.ac.uk/news/11333/
 
Description Public lecture on MRI (Aberdeen Science Centre) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Prof. David Lurie was invited to give a public lecture at Aberdeen Science Centre, entiltled "Meet the Expert: The Science, History and Future of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)". The evening event was part of a series on "James Clerk Maxwell and Electromagnetism - The Path to Modernity". The talk included a section on our EPSRC-funded research on Fast Field-Cycling MRI and Zero-Field MRI.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.abdn.ac.uk/events/8269/
 
Description Television news item (STV) about Fast Field-Cycling MRI 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Piece on first patient studies using Fast Field-Cycling MRI research at Aberdeen University, aired on STV television news programme on 21st November 2017. Included an interview with David Lurie and with one of the patients who had been scanned.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.abdn.ac.uk/research/ffc-mri/publicity/