Rapid Design and Additive Manufacturing of MRI System

M. Urdaneta, E. Anashkin, I.N. Weinberg, A. Sarwar, A. Nacev, P. Stepanov, L. Mair, S. Fricke
Weinberg Medical Physics LLC, US

Keywords: MRI additive manufacturing

Summary:

We have developed methods to rapid prototype parts that combine electrical conductors and insulators for making MRI gradient and RF coils. The parts include wires, insulation, cooling lines, and supporting structures. Our primary motivation is rapid prototyping of high-performance MRI gradient coils, which must be woven in sophisticated patterns to reduce proximity and skin-effects that produce losses at high frequencies and currents (patent pending). Our additive manufacturing approach can bypass the months-long and nearly-artisanal process of winding such coils. Using additive manufacturing we can make wires with very tight turns, leading to coils that take less space and enable the design of MRIs with non-traditional shapes and form-factors. Integration with advanced magnetic simulations allowed the development of planar MRI coils from specification to fabrication within one hour. Features size of conductors: 100 microns wide, height from 20 microns to 1 mm, and 10 micron accuracy. Coils withstood 10 kV and 40 amps, delivering field to attain MRI with 30 micron resolution.