TU-H-BRA-05: A System Design for Integration of An Interior MRI and a Linear Accelerator




MRI is a highly desirable modality to guide radiation therapy but it is difficult to combine a conventional MRI scanner directly with a linear accelerator (linac). An interior MRI (iMRI) concept has been proposed to acquire MRI images within a small field of view only covering targets and immediate surrounding tissues. The objective of this project is to design an interior MRI system to work with a linac using a magnet to provide a field around 0.2T in a cube of 20cm per side, and perform image reconstruction with a slightly inhomogeneous static magnetic fields.


All the results are simulated using a commercially available software package, FARADY. In our design, a ring structure holds the iMRI system and also imbeds a linac treatment head. The ring is synchronized to the linac gantry rotation. Half of the ring is made of steel and becomes a magnetic flux return path (yoke) so that a strong magnetic field will be limited inside the iron circuit and fringe fields will be very weak. In order to increase the static magnetic field homogeneity, special steel magnet boots or tips were simulated. Three curved boots were designed based on two-dimensional curves: arc, parabola and hyperbola.


Different boot surfaces modify magnetic field distributions differently. With the same pair of neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets, the magnetic induction at the centers are 0.217T, 0.201T, 0.204T, and 0.212T for flat, arc, parabola and hyperbola boots, respectively. The hyperbola boots lead to the most homogeneous results, the static magnetic field deviations are within 0.5% in a cube of 20cm, and can be further improved using shimming techniques.


This study supports the concept of an iMRI design. Successful development of iMRI will provide crucial information for tumor delineation in radiation therapy.