A Novel Diffusion MRI Phantom, and a Method for Enhancing MR Image Quality

The technology offered for licensing is in the field of Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Diffusion MRI). Specifically, a novel imaging phantom is described and claimed, which is specifically optimized for Diffusion MRI and is expected to enhance the performance and reliability of this widespread imaging technology.

The phantom provided in this invention comprises a stable aqueous polymer solution with a concentration of at least 30% (by weight) or copolymer solution having a resulting water diffusivity from about 2x10-4 mm2/s to about 3x10-3 mm2/s. Polyvinyl Pyrrolidone (PVP) is the polymer of choice in this invention. PVP is an FDA-approved food additive. It is uniquely stable, non-toxic, storable, and transportable, and has been shown to maintain consistent water diffusivity properties even after five years.

This PVP diffusion MRI phantom material is already being used widely in several multi-site clinical studies to assure MRI data quality and to help standardize results between and among different subjects and different clinical and research sites. It is also being proposed as a diffusion standard.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Combining a Diffusion MRI phantom with a resolution phantom allows the same device to be used to calibrate an MR scanner’s image quality and the accuracy and precision of its diffusion measurements.
  • Useful particularly for Radiological QA and QC and for use in assuring data quality in individual subject, longitudinal, and multi-subject studies.
The imaging phantoms provided in the invention are optimized specifically for Diffusion MRI. They possess the following features and characteristics:
  • Made of non-toxic, non-hazardous, non-flammable and easily transportable materials.
  • Possess diffusivities similar to those of water in biological tissues, particular brain parenchyma.
  • Possess stable diffusion properties over time. No appreciable change in water diffusivity detectable after five years.
  • Offers option to tailor diffusivity of the phantom to different applications by varying the chemical composition.

Development Stage:
The invention is fully developed.


Ferenc Horkay (NICHD)  ➽ more inventions...

Peter Basser (NICHD)  ➽ more inventions...

Carlo Pierpaoli (NICHD)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
U.S. Pat: 9,603,546 issued 2017-03-28
PCT Application No. PCT/US10/22088
US Application No. 13/146,058
US Application No. 15/448,760

Pierpaoli C, et al. Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) water solutions as isotropic phantoms for diffusion MRI studies. In ISMRM 17th Annual Meeting and Exhibition, Honolulu, Hawai'i. April 18–24, 2009. PDF
Boss MA, et al. QIBA PDF MRI Technical Committee: Activities in Diffusion MRI. Poster 2014. PDF
Medical-Imaging Device Developed by NICHD Researchers Awarded U.S. Patent. The NIH Catalyst. 2017 Jul-Aug;25(4).

Collaboration Opportunity:

Researchers at the NICHD seek licensing and/or co-development research collaborations to develop and commercialize the Diffusion MRI Phantoms described above.

Licensing Contact:
Surekha Vathyam, Ph.D.
Email: vathyams@mail.nih.gov
Phone: 240-276-6865

OTT Reference No: E-249-2008/0
Updated: Aug 4, 2017