Siemens is looking for a developer and supplier that designs, builds, and characterizes a quantitative MRI phantom prototype. The phantom should exhibit the anthropomorphic shape of a human, adult head and feature key tissues with well-characterized substances that are long-term stable and possess realistic T1- and T2- values, conductivities, magnetic susceptibilities, relative permittivities, and proton densities.
In magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) high-quality phantoms are a crucial tool for standardized and reproducible image quality measurements as well as sequence development. Conventional MRI phantoms feature primitive, geometric shapes and their MR parameters are restricted. Thus, they cannot replace tests with human volunteers. Specifically, many of real-life MRI artifacts only occur in human tissue, with a non-trivial spatial distribution of T1- and T2- values, conductivities, magnetic susceptibilities, and relative permittivities. With this call, we strive to obtain a more realistic MRI head phantom that resembles a real patient’s head in terms of the spatial distribution of relevant MR parameters.
Key success Criteria
The core application of the MRI phantom should be structural imaging of the adult human head to be performed with a standard head coil.
External geometric requirements: MRI phantom of anthropomorphic shape (head (0.5 -1.0 mm isotropic), neck and shoulders (~2 mm isotropic is good enough))
Target field strength: 3 T (ideally also works for 1.5 T)
Phantom structure resolution: head: ideally 0.5-1.0 mm isotropic; neck and shoulders: ~2 mm isotropic is good enough
Model tissues should feature realistic MRI parameters, like T1- and T2-values, conductivities, magnetic susceptibilities, relative permittivities, and spin densities (supplementary information for reference upon request).
The substances representing the model tissues should possess well-characterized T1- and T2-values with preferably low dependence on temperature, B1-field strength, and time (drift/aging of T1- and T2-values < 3% per year)
If a carcass structure is employed separating the model tissue volumes, the carcass substance should be: 1) ideally “invisible” in MRI and b) the gap between model tissue volumes should be very narrow (few mm or less; ideally <1 mm) to avoid artificial susceptibility jumps and concomitant Gibbs ringing
The phantom should be mechanical robust and long-term stable
Settling time after handling before start of MR imaging should be short (<15 min), i.e., liquids of low viscosity should be avoided, if possible.
Provide documentation of any potentially hazardous materials (health or environment) used during assembly of or as part of the phantom
Price indication of 1, 10, and 100 pieces
Siemens Healthineers is interested to form a long-term partnership with follow-up phantom development projects targeting further body regions and MRI applications (diffusion imaging, fMRI)
3D printing of head-shaped frame structure
Assembly of (semi-)solid gel-like structures in rigid frame
Other ideas are welcome
Approaches not of Interest
Large volumes filled with fluids of low viscosity (e.g., water-based solutions) are undesirable, due to long fluid settling time after movement of the phantom
Thick, artificial boundary structures between modelled tissues are undesired
Items to be submitted
We are looking for concise, non-confidential proposals. The proposal should:
Describe the technical approach
Provide information on the performance of the technology (if available)
Include a description of the responding organisation or team and their experience.
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Preferred Collaboration Types
Contract Analysis and Testing
To Be Negotiated
Area of Interest
Materials Science > 3D Printable Materials
Health Sciences-Chemicals and Drugs > Biomedical and Dental Materials
Medical Sciences > Medical Anatomy
Medical Sciences > Medical Biotechnology
Engineering-Biomedical > Bioimaging and Biomedical Optics