Tangible results from PhD's collaboration with industry

Friday 09 Mar 18
by Signe Rømer Holm


Jan Henrik Ardenkjær-Larsen
Head of Department, Professor
DTU Health Tech
+45 45 25 57 57


Vitaliy Zhurbenko
Associate Professor
DTU Electrical Engineering
+45 45 25 38 20
Daniel Højrup Johansen has enjoyed a four-month external research stay at RAPID Biomedical GmbH.

From November 2017 to March 2018, HYPERMAG PhD student Daniel Højrup Johansen, has visited RAPID Biomedical GmbH in Würzburg, Germany. RAPID is one of the leading companies in the world developing clinical magnetic resonance imaging coils.

The purpose of the four-month stay at RAPID was to design and implement the first ever 32 channel head coil for clinical carbon-13 Hyperpolarized Magnetic Resonance (MR) Imaging. The head coil uses only technology invented during Daniel’s PhD studies. The designed head coil features 32 self-designed preamplifiers, matching circuits, and coils.  

Minute changeS in the magnetization of various nuclei in our body tell a story of either sickness or health. With Hyperpolarized Metabolic MR, we are able to discover these changes and track them over time. Next step is to thoroughly test the technical performance of the head coil, giving Daniel the all-clear to conduct studies on healthy volunteers. We expect the coil to enable clinical research of the metabolization of various carbon-13 based contrast agents in the human brain, for example for early diagnosis and evaluation of the efficacy of cancer treatment through non-invasive monitoring of the metabolism of cancerous cells. 

"It has been great to get professional sparring on my designs from experts on MR components and their applications. And really awesome to realize the 32-channel coil. I look forward to putting the full coil to the test."
Daniel Højrup Johansen

In his PhD project, Daniel focuses on optimizing the signal-to-noise ratio of MR systems. Cryogenic receiver coil arrays and radio frequency front ends are typically designed in separate flows, leading to sub-optimal coils and systems. Daniel strives to create novel methodologies and designs by integrating the two design flows, as demonstrated with the 32-channel head coil. Optimized signal-to-noise ratio can decrease imaging time or increase image quality, both important for Hyperpolarized Metabolic MR Imaging.

Daniel's research is funded by Danish National Research Foundation at the HYPERMAG Center of Excellence.Top photo shows the head coil under development, taken for a photo competition issued by the Foundation. Bottom photo shows the realized head coil with all 32 channels.  

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