Human and Environment

Chance Metamaterial: Example Magnetic Resonance Imaging

What about developing materials with almost any properties - even those that do not occur in nature? Metamaterials make exactly this possible and thus open up a broad field of applications. These are not materials in the usual sense, but artificial structures with a special structure.

© Fraunhofer FHR
The developed cable mantle offers an innovative solution that allows the use of other diagnostic equipment in the extremely harsh MRI environment.
© Fraunhofer MEVIS
Experiments with the metamaterial disk in a magnetic resonance scanner identified as much as a fivefold increase in measurement sensitivity.

Magnetic resonance imaging: Five times better measurement sensitivity

The "Meta RF" project of the Fraunhofer MEVIS and Fraunhofer FHR shows, among others, what the metamaterials can be used for. In this project, metamaterial devices were developed which when placed on the body part to be examined, significantly improve the measuring efficiency of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): When the body coil is used in the MRI device, a fivefold increase in the measured signal is possible. Fine structures can thus be detected much better on the images.

Combination of MRI and other diagnostic devices

Metamaterials can also help to solve other challenges associated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). For example, MRI and other diagnostic methods have not been able to be combined well so far because the strong  fields in MRI induce sheath currents on the cables of the auxiliary equipment. Fraunhofer FHR has now developed the first metamaterial-based MRI-compatible,  sheath current barriers. These are light, flexible, reusable, reconfigurable and easy to use. Here, the metamaterial is designed to resonate at the frequency of the MRI and prevent waves from propagating on the cable.

Metamaterials: Designed to fit

The possible applications of metamaterials are by no means limited to the medical field. Rather, they offer interesting solutions for many other challenges. The research teams at the Fraunhofer FHR support you with their comprehensive know-how in the development of precisely fitting metamaterials. Modern measuring equipment is also available at the Fraunhofer FHR.