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The MR Engineering Lab is part of the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center at Duke University. Our research involves the development of novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) coil technologies – in particular, integrated parallel reception, excitation, and shimming (iPRES) and integrated radio-frequency/wireless (iRFW) coils – to enable imaging, localized B0 shimming, and/or wireless communication with a single coil, thereby improving the image quality and clinical utility of MRI applications such as functional MRI (fMRI) and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) in the human brain and body. We also develop high-resolution diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) techniques to investigate the microstructure of the human brain and to detect abnormalities in neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

iPRES COIL TECHNOLOGIES

iPRES

We developed a novel iPRES coil design that allows RF and DC currents to flow on the same coil elements, enabling MR imaging and localized B0 shimming with a single coil array (Han et al. 2013).

iPRES | brain

We implemented iPRES into a 32-channel head coil array to effectively reduce localized B0 inhomogeneities and image distortions in the brain (Truong et al. 2014).

iPRES(N) | body

We implemented a novel iPRES(N) coil design, with N DC loops per RF coil element, into an 8-channel body coil array to more effectively shim localized B0 inhomogeneities in the abdomen (Darnell et al. 2017).

iPRES-B | brain

We developed a plug-and-play battery-powered iPRES head coil array to enable a more efficient and cost-effective shimming in clinical applications (Darnell et al. 2017).

iPRES(N)-A

We developed a novel adaptive iPRES(N) (iPRES(N)-A) coil design that uses switches to achieve a more cost-effective localized B0 shimming (Darnell et al. 2018).

iPRES | fMRI

We developed a novel iPRES shim optimization method to effectively reduce both image distortions and signal loss for fMRI applications (Willey et al. 2021).

iPRES | breast

We implemented iPRES into an 8-channel breast coil array to enable localized B0 shimming in DWI of the breast (Ma et al. 2018).

iPRES(N)-A | body

We implemented iPRES(N)-A into a 32-channel body coil array to enable localized B0 shimming in DWI of the abdomen (Ma et al. 2020).

iPRES | rat

We numerically optimized an iPRES rat coil design to achieve a high localized B0 shimming performance and signal-to-noise ratio (Thompson et al. 2020).

iPRES | flexible

We implemented iPRES into a 4-channel flexible coil array to enable localized B0 shimming in multiple anatomical regions (Overson et al. 2023).

iRFW COIL TECHNOLOGIES

iRFW & iPRES-W

We developed novel iRFW and wireless iPRES (iPRES-W) coil designs that enable MR imaging, wireless communication, and/or localized B0 shimming with a single coil (Darnell et al. 2019).

iPRES-W | spinal cord

We implemented iPRES-W, along with the AIR™ coil technology, into a 4-channel spine coil array to enable wireless localized B0 shimming in DTI of the spinal cord (Cuthbertson et al. 2022).

iRFW

We performed simulations to optimize the wireless performance of iRFW coils (Overson et al. 2023).

iRFW | ultrasound

We integrated the iRFW coil design with an ultrasound-based sensor to enable MR imaging and wireless physiological motion monitoring (Willey et al. 2020, 2022, 2023).

dual-stream iPRES-W | brain

We implemented a dual-stream iPRES-W coil design into a 48-channel head coil array to enable MR imaging, wireless localized B0 shimming, and wireless respiratory monitoring (Cuthbertson et al. 2020).

iRFW | Q-spoiling

We developed an iRFW coil design that can perform wireless Q-spoiling to detune the coil during each RF transmit cycle (Cuthbertson et al. 2021).

power harvesting

We developed a power harvesting coil array that can harvest the energy from the RF transmit pulses to power electronics within the scanner bore (Cuthbertson et al. 2022).

iRFW | MIMO

We performed simulations to optimize the wireless performance of an iRFW neonatal head coil array with multiple-input multiple-output wireless MRI data transfer (Dickinson et al. 2023).

iRFW | GNSS

We implemented atomic clock timing via global navigation satellite system (GNSS) signals to an iRFW coil to perform wireless clock synchronization for wireless MRI data transfer (Dickinson et al. 2024).

iRFW | cellular

We developed an iRFW coil design for the wireless transmission over cellular networks of MRI data acquired with low-field portable MRI scanners within EMT vehicles (Dickinson et al. 2024).

HIGH-RESOLUTION DTI

DTI | cortical gray matter

We developed a cortical column-based analysis of submillimeter whole-brain DTI data to quantify the dependence of the diffusion anisotropy and radiality on the cortical depth, curvature, thickness, and region-of-interest (Ma et al. 2023).

DTI | hippocampus

We analyzed submillimeter DTI data of the hippocampus to investigate intra-hippocampal fiber tracts and connectomes in vivo and ex vivo (Ma et al. 2022).

DTI | hippocampus | AD

We analyzed high-resolution DTI data of the hippocampus to investigate changes in intra-hippocampal connectivity in cognitively normal and Alzheimer's subjects (Overson et al. 2023, 2024).

DTI | cortical gray matter | AD

We performed a cortical column-based analysis of high-resolution DTI data to investigate changes in the cortical depth dependence of diffusion metrics in cognitively normal and Alzheimer's subjects (Overson et al. 2024).

PEOPLE

TRONG-KHA TRUONG, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Co-Director of the MR Engineering Lab
trongkha.truong@duke.edu

DEAN DARNELL, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the MR Engineering Lab
dean.darnell@duke.edu

DEVON OVERSON

Ph.D. student in Medical Physics

OLIVIA JO DICKINSON

Ph.D. student in Medical Physics

CHRISTIAN GIBSON

Ph.D. student in Medical Physics

EVANGELINA WONG

Ph.D. student in Medical Physics

EMILY STICKLE

Summer intern

ALLEN W. SONG, Ph.D.

Professor and Director of the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center

LAB ALUMNI

HONGYUAN WANG

M.S. student in Medical Physics
Duke Kunshan University

SEBASTIAN LUCE

Summer intern

HUIMIN ZHANG

M.S. student in Medical Physics
Duke Kunshan University

JULIA BRESTICKER

M.S. student in Medical Physics

ZACHARY THOMPSON

M.S. student in Medical Physics

VANI YADAV

M.S. student in Medical Physics

LINDSEY BLOOM

Summer intern

DEVIN WILLEY

Ph.D. student in Medical Physics

JONATHAN CUTHBERTSON

Ph.D. student in Medical Physics

JASMINE CHEN

M.S. student in Medical Physics

YIXIN MA

Ph.D. student in Medical Physics

LODEN DARNELL

Summer intern

BETH REED

M.S. student in Medical Physics

SPENCER LYNCH

M.S. student in Medical Physics

PUBLICATIONS

1/25/2024: Congrats Devon and Olivia for getting two oral presentations and two e-posters accepted for ISMRM 2024!

10/18/2023: Flexible multi-purpose integrated RF/shim coil array for MRI and localized B0 shimming by Overson DK, Darnell D, Robb F, Song AW, and Truong TK is published in Magn Reson Med. Congrats Devon!

5/16/2023: Numerical simulations of an integrated radio-frequency/wireless coil design for simultaneous acquisition and wireless transfer of magnetic resonance imaging data by Overson DK, Bresticker J, Willey D, Robb F, Song AW, Truong TK, and Darnell D is published in Phys Med Biol. Congrats Devon, Julia, and Devin!

3/1/2023: Column-based cortical depth analysis of the diffusion anisotropy and radiality in submillimeter whole-brain diffusion tensor imaging of the human cortical gray matter in vivo by Ma Y, Bruce IP, Yeh CH, Petrella JR, Song AW, and Truong TK is published in NeuroImage. Congrats Yixin!

2/2/2023: Congrats Devon, Devon/Yixin, Olivia/Devon/Spencer/Beth, and Devin/Spencer/Olivia for getting three e-posters and an oral presentation accepted for ISMRM 2023!

4/25/2022: An iPRES-W coil array for simultaneous imaging and wireless localized B0 shimming of the cervical spinal cord by Cuthbertson JD, Truong TK, Stormont R, Robb F, Song AW, and Darnell D is published in Magn Reson Med. Congrats Jon!

2/4/2022: Congrats Jon, Yixin, and Devin/Olivia/Devon for getting an e-poster and two power pitches accepted for ISMRM 2022!

7/29/2021: Recent advances in RF coil technologies: flexible, wireless, and integrated coil arrays by Darnell D, Truong TK, and Song AW is published in J Magn Reson Imaging.

7/20/2021: Application of an integrated radio-frequency/shim coil technology for signal recovery in fMRI by Willey D, Darnell D, Song AW, and Truong TK is published in Magn Reson Med. Congrats Devin!

2/24/2021: Congrats Yixin and Jon/Jasmine for getting a talk and an e-poster accepted for ISMRM 2021!

1/29/2020: Congrats Devin/Julia, Yixin/Julia, Jon/Vani, and Zack for getting a power pitch, a talk, and two e-posters accepted for ISMRM 2020!

2/7/2019: Congrats Jon and Julia/Zack/Devin for getting two e-posters accepted for ISMRM 2019!

9/14/2018: Integrated radio-frequency/wireless coil design for simultaneous MR image acquisition and wireless communication by Darnell D, Cuthbertson J, Robb F, Song AW, and Truong TK is published in Magn Reson Med.

6/16/2018: The team’s work is featured in a GE SIGNA Pulse of MR article at ISMRM 2018.

2/2/2018: Congrats Jon/Julia, Devin, and Yixin/Huimin for getting a power pitch and two talks accepted for ISMRM 2018!

11/16/2017: Adaptive integrated parallel reception, excitation, and shimming (iPRES-A) with microelectromechanical systems switches by Darnell D, Ma Y, Wang H, Robb F, Song AW, and Truong TK is published in Magn Reson Med.

1/30/2017: Congrats Devin/Sebastian and Jon/Yixin/Sebastian for getting two e-posters accepted for ISMRM 2017!

5/13/2016:  Integrated parallel reception, excitation, and shimming (iPRES) with multiple shim loops per radio-frequency coil element for improved B0 shimming by Darnell D, Truong TK, and Song AW is published in Magn Reson Med.

9/28/2014: Integrated RF/shim coil array for parallel reception and localized B0 shimming in the human brain by Truong TK, Darnell D, and Song AW is published in NeuroImage.

AWARDS

5/11/2024: Congrats Olivia for receiving a Carey E. Floyd, Jr., Graduate Fellowship from the Medical Physics Program!

4/19/2024: Congrats Devon for receiving a Magna Cum Laude Merit Award at ISMRM 2024 and for winning the 1st prize for best Ph.D. student presentation at the Medical Physics Research Symposium!

2/13/2024: Congrats Devon and Olivia for receiving Educational Stipends for ISMRM 2024!

10/19/2023: Congrats Olivia for winning the 1st prize in the scientific poster competition at the i2i Workshop!

5/13/2023: Congrats Spencer for receiving a Zachary Shrock Memorial Scholarship from the Medical Physics Program!

4/28/2023: Congrats Olivia and Devon for receiving Conference Travel Awards from the Graduate School!

4/21/2023: Congrats Olivia for winning the 1st prize for best Ph.D. student presentation at the Medical Physics Research Symposium!

2/20/2023: Congrats Olivia and Devon for receiving Educational Stipends for ISMRM 2023!

12/3/2022: Congrats Olivia for receiving a Women in Technology Scholarship from Cadence!

8/18/2022: Congrats Devin/Olivia/Devon (again!) for winning the 1st place for Best Trainee Abstract from the ISMRM MR Engineering study group!

5/12/2022: Congrats Devin/Olivia/Devon for receiving the Gold Award Trainee Prize from the ISMRM Detection & Correction of Motion in MRI & MRS study group!

4/22/2022: Congrats Yixin and Devin/Olivia/Devon for receiving two Summa Cum Laude Merit Awards at ISMRM 2022!

4/15/2022: Congrats Olivia (and Devin) for winning the 2nd prize for best M.S. student presentation at the Medical Physics Research Symposium!

11/16/2021: Congrats Jasmine and Devon for receiving Dean’s Research Awards for Master’s Students from the Graduate School!

6/9/2021: Congrats Yixin for receiving the Best Diffusion Neuro Oral Presentation Award from the ISMRM Diffusion study group!

5/8/2021: Congrats Devon for receiving a Zachary Shrock Memorial Scholarship from the Medical Physics Program!

4/30/2021: Congrats Yixin for receiving a Magna Cum Laude Merit Award at ISMRM 2021!

10/9/2020: Congrats Vani for receiving a Dean’s Research Award for Master’s Students from the Graduate School!

7/24/2020: Congrats Jon/Vani for receiving a Magna Cum Laude Merit Award at ISMRM 2020!

2/11/2020: Congrats Devin, Yixin, Zack, and Vani for receiving Educational and New Entrant Stipends for ISMRM 2020!

5/12/2019: Congrats Julia for receiving an Academic and Research Excellence Award from the Medical Physics Program!

2/25/2019: Congrats Jon, Julia, and Zack for receiving Educational and New Entrant Stipends for ISMRM 2019!

7/14/2018: Congrats Julia for receiving a Best Poster Presentation Award at GRS/GRC 2018!

6/2/2018: Congrats Devin and Jon/Julia for receiving two Magna Cum Laude Merit Awards at ISMRM 2018!

5/13/2018: Congrats Dean, Yixin, and Jon for receiving a Director’s Award for Exemplary Service, Teaching Assistantship Award, and Academic and Research Excellence Award, respectively, from the Medical Physics Program!

2/15/2018: Congrats Devin, Julia, Yixin, and Jon for receiving Educational and New Entrant Stipends for ISMRM 2018!

5/14/2017: Congrats Yixin for receiving an Academic and Research Excellence Award from the Medical Physics Program!

4/24/2017: Congrats Jon/Yixin for winning the 1st place for Best Poster Presentation Award from the ISMRM MR Engineering study group!

4/17/2017: Congrats Yixin for receiving the inaugural Karen Wrenn Graduate Fellowship in Alzheimer’s Disease Research!

2/16/2017: Congrats Yixin and Jon for receiving New Entrant Stipends for ISMRM 2017!

LAB NEWS

6/13/2024: Welcome Emily Stickle to the lab!

4/8/2024: Welcome Evangelina Wong to the lab!

3/19/2024: Congrats to Spencer for successfully defending his M.S. scholarship project!

3/7/2024: Welcome Christian Gibson to the lab!

3/1/2024: Congrats to Beth for successfully defending her M.S. scholarship project!

6/21/2023: Welcome Loden Darnell to the lab!

9/15/2022: Welcome Beth Reed to the lab!

8/26/2022: Welcome Spencer Lynch to the lab!

6/30/2022: Congrats to Yixin for successfully defending her Ph.D. dissertation!

3/17/2022: Congrats to Jasmine for successfully defending her M.S. scholarship project!

3/16/2022: Congrats to Devin for successfully defending her Ph.D. dissertation!

3/15/2022: Congrats to Jon for successfully defending his Ph.D. dissertation!

3/2/2022: Congrats to Devon for successfully defending his M.S. thesis!

2/3/2022: Congrats Devon and Olivia for being accepted into the Medical Physics Ph.D. Program!

7/24/2021: Welcome Olivia Jo Dickinson to the lab!

6/8/2021: Welcome Lindsey Bloom to the lab!

4/2/2021: Congrats to Vani for successfully defending her M.S. scholarship project!

9/1/2020: Welcome Devon Overson to the lab!

8/5/2020: Welcome Jasmine Chen to the lab!

3/20/2020: Congrats to Zack for successfully defending his M.S. scholarship project!

12/1/2019: Congrats Dean for being promoted to Assistant Professor!

7/1/2019: Welcome Vani Yadav to the lab!

4/1/2019: Congrats to Julia for successfully defending her M.S. thesis!

9/24/2018: Welcome Zachary Thompson to the lab!

3/30/2018: Congrats to Huimin, Devin, and Jon for successfully defending their M.S. theses!

2/14/2018: Congrats Jon and Devin for being accepted into the Medical Physics Ph.D. Program!

9/6/2017: Welcome Julia Bresticker to the lab!

5/10/2017: Welcome Huimin Zhang to the lab!

12/1/2016: Congrats Dean for being promoted to Medical Instructor and BIAC faculty!

9/20/2016: Welcome Devin Willey, Jonathan Cuthbertson, and Yixin Ma to the lab!

5/31/2016: Welcome Sebastian Luce to the lab!

3/23/2016: Congrats to Hongyuan for successfully defending his M.S. thesis!

6/30/2015: Welcome Hongyuan Wang to the lab!