Minimally Invasive Image-guided Ablation - MINIMA

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Medical Physics and Biomedical Eng


Aims and Objectives
The aim of this project is to improve diagnosis and therapy for patients with cancer, combining imaging with minimally invasive treatment. A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system will be the sole platform used for moving a magnetic particle to a tumour site within the body and heating the particle, leading to cell death in the surrounding tumour tissue. Using an MRI system allows the region of interest to be imaged with each step, as a new form of image-guided therapy. The main objective of the MRes project will be to reduce the artefacts observed in the acquired images, which are a result of the high susceptibility of the magnetic particle.

Magnetic Resonance Targeting (MRT) uses the gradient coils within an MRI system to generate magnetic field gradients and move particles to targeted sites within the body. Once at the site of interest, the intention is to destroy tumour cells via heating of the particles. Previous work has shown the feasibility of MRT, by manipulating cells labelled with magnetic nanoparticles.

This project will develop this idea by using a single steel ball, instead of nanoparticles. A disadvantage to the increased particle size is the susceptibility artefacts which are observed in the acquired image. The high susceptibility of the iron within the steel ball distorts the magnetic field in the local vicinity, leading to increased T2* dephasing and loss of signal. Decreasing the size of the artefact will improve the localization of the steel ball and allow more precise location and movement of the particle through the tissue. Some research has been carried out to overcome these artefacts, for a steel ball in a swine artery. For the MRes project I will investigate the use of different pulse sequences and the effect of changing pulse sequence parameters, on the acquired images.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509577/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1921546 Studentship EP/N509577/1 25/09/2017 01/10/2021 Rebecca Baker