Home Made MRI

In this project, I will build a desktop-sized MRI that is inexpensive and can be built by anyone.

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[Translated by DEEPL]

This project is about building an MRI as a personal hobby. The project is to build a desktop-sized MRI that is inexpensive, reproducible by anyone, and redesignable. Due to its small size, it cannot be used for human medical diagnosis, but it will be able to scan human hands, feet, small animal bodies, etc. in 3D.

The design is done using MATLAB, which allows the designer to focus on the design and calculation of the MRI.

・Numerical optimization
・Numerical analysis

Electronics is necessary to construct the electronic circuits inside the MRI. Electromagnetics and numerical optimization are required to design the main coil and gradient coil, and MRI coils need to be optimally designed to find the best shape by computer, not by human hand. In order to validate the designed circuits and coils, MRI simulations need to be created, which requires skills in numerical analysis.


My goal is to build an MRI that can be used for simple physics experiments, and to make the design process data public so that anyone can build an MRI.

The following is an overview of  current progress.
First of all, I was able to obtain my first 2D image by MRI on 2/24 2022. The following images are from that time.

  • Current Issues

    yashiro05/04/2022 at 00:40 0 comments

    My goal is to build an MRI that can be used for simple physics experiments and to publish data on the design process.


    Let me explain our current progress.
    First of all, I was able to obtain my first 2-D MRI image on 2/24. The following images are from that time.

    The image quality is coarse and blurred, but the image shows that an approximate shape can be reconstructed.
    This two-dimensional image was acquired using the spin-echo method. The image type is proton density-weighted.
    After this image was acquired, various improvements were made, and the image quality has now improved to the level shown below.


    My current MRI has three problems.

    ■ The first is the poor signal-to-noise ratio of the signal and the resulting image quality.
    This problem is exacerbated by switching noise and urban noise in the power supply to the detection system, including the preamplifier.
    In principle, the lower limit of MRI noise is determined by the thermal noise of the detection coil, and the noise cannot be further reduced.
    However, various types of noise are introduced into the detection system of my current MRI, adversely affecting the image quality.

    ■Second, as I am a novice in FPGAs, the HDL code for the FPGA that makes up the MRI sequencer is poor.

    The MRI sequencer uses REDPITAYA, which is implemented with Zynq.
    REDPITAYA is equipped with a 2-channel ADC and DAC as well as an Ethernet terminal for communication, but I have not been able to make full use of it.
    I have implemented a UART module on my own and communicate with a PC using an RS232C-USB cable.
    Due to this slow communication speed, the current MRI can only capture proton density-enhanced images.

    ■Third, the Z-axis gradient coil has not yet been implemented. Commercial MRIs can scan in three dimensions, but without a Z-axis gradient coil, they can only produce a two-dimensional projection image, similar to an x-ray.

    Home Made MRI will continue to be improved.

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philipasanford wrote 01/23/2024 at 15:55 point

A low cost solution to improve the  thermal noise in the detection coil is by -improving the coil's quality factor (Q) by tuning and matching the coil's impedance to the preamplifier's input impedance using high-permeability materials, such as ferrites(or meta materials)

-Reducing the coils Resistance by increasing the coil's cross section will contribute to improving thermal noise.

Cooling the coil to lower temperatures, such as liquid nitrogen (77 K) or liquid helium (4.2 K), to reduce the thermal agitation of the electrons is another solution. 

There are other viable solutions too. I haven't sourced any of the materials, but I would assume they are pretty expensive. Another way to reduce the coils resistance is using low-resistance materials, such as superconductors or high-temperature superconductors (HTS)

- Using cryogenic preamplifiers that operate at low temperatures and have low noise figures, such as high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) or superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs)

Good Luck. If you have any questions, I'll try my best to answer. 

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l.broche wrote 08/31/2022 at 12:17 point

Very nice!

You may find some resources on how to design gradient coils from the OSI2 website:

This is a community of open-source hardware people who work in MRI and ultrasound. There are lots of stuff there that may interest you!

Actually this looks very similar to the first clinical MRI scanner ever made (which is a good sign for you!) Link here:

I hope there will be more news soon :)

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J. Ian Lindsay wrote 05/14/2022 at 03:29 point

I have always wanted to do this. I'm happy to see you paving the way.

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RonW wrote 04/13/2022 at 16:17 point

The device looks like an electronic spin resonance imager, which is related to nuclear magnetic resonance imagers. The difference being that ESRI identifies atoms via their electron spin characteristics where as NMRI identifies via nucleus mass. Both types of resonance imagers work the same way, just differ in which atomic characteristics are measured.

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J. Ian Lindsay wrote 05/14/2022 at 03:31 point

Does that imply that this technique would have trouble differentiating between elements in the same column of the periodic table? I'm a fair chemist, but I didn't know that "ESRI" was a thing until 5-minutes ago.

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sandorkonya wrote 03/23/2022 at 13:17 point

Can't wait for new updates.

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Mike Fe wrote 12/14/2021 at 16:35 point

I can't wait to build this for myself. I am SUPER interested. 

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2019 wrote 12/09/2021 at 14:51 point

SUGOI! Please upload videos to youtube :D

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ntsarb wrote 12/08/2021 at 20:44 point

Amazing. I look forward to building one, if/when instructions become available.

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arrigo.benedetti wrote 12/08/2021 at 18:31 point

What is the max intensity of B_0 that you can generate with this design?

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Alan wrote 12/08/2021 at 17:51 point

Wow, as a vet this would be an amazing thing to have!

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rick fleischer wrote 12/08/2021 at 17:18 point

When will you consider a person-size MRI?  Head-size?

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Torin Walker wrote 12/08/2021 at 17:15 point

Do you plan on providing details - theory of design, references to design sources, thoughts behind why you chose your particular design (particularly interested in the field-coils and the theory behind them), Interaction of the coils with the gradient coil and the other coils top/bottom and side of the chamber, the math, the software. Deets, dude. Deets.

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Ahron Wayne wrote 12/04/2021 at 04:30 point awesome! Your design looks super solid and hope you take it all the way

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jordanbrandes wrote 12/03/2021 at 22:23 point

This is amazing! How is this coming along?

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Nathann wrote 11/30/2021 at 13:02 point

Wow that's neat. how far are you from getting an image ?

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Nathann wrote 05/25/2022 at 12:29 point

got my answer !

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