Ultra-high Field Magnetic Resonance Imaging – Challenges and Future Perspectives

Irena Zivkovic, Eindhoven University of Technology



Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is non-invasive and non-ionizing imaging modality.  It is very powerful imaging modality due to the ability to obtain images with various contrasts. The biggest drawback, which prevents wider acceptance of MRI and its use in regular population screening, is its price – the cost of an instrument is one million euros per tesla of field strengths. The higher the field strength the higher signal to noise ratio (SNR) is which allows scanning in higher resolution and resolving of smaller structural abnormalities. In this talk, the benefits of going towards the higher fields will be presented as well as the main technical challenges. Future perspectives and development directions of MRI will be discussed as well.


Short biography:

Irena Zivkovic obtained her Master degree in Electrical Engineering at the Faculty of Electronic Engineering, University of Nis, Serbia and PhD at the Institute of Applied Physics, University of Bern, Switzerland in 2012. As an undergraduate student, she was a research fellow at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech, Pasadena, USA). The topic of her research was applied electromagnetics – in astronomy (until and including her PhD) and in MRI (after obtaining PhD).  She was a Max Planck fellow from 2013-2017 at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tuebingen, Germany, where she worked on 9.4T human MRI scanner. From 2017-2019 she held postdoctoral position in Radiology department at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Leiden, the Netherlands, where she worked mostly at 7T MRI but also at ultra-low field (50mT) and at clinical scanners (1.5T and 3T). In 2019, she was appointed as assistant professor in Electrical Engineering department, at the Technical University of Eindhoven, the Netherlands, where she is founder and PI of MRI hardware development reserch line. The main motivation for her work is to exploit full potential of MRI imaging modality across full spectrum of field strengths.  Her main research interest is MRI engineering  for manipulation of both static (B0) and the RF (B1) fields at both active and passive way. She worked on matrix shim approach for B0 field correction, new RF coils for high performance UHF imaging, implementation of high permittivity dielectric materials, design and implementation of metamaterial inspired structures, building of high performance low field scanners, MR guided interventions, etc.