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Launch of AROMA, a european project to exploit the full potential of NeuroSpin's future 11.7 T scanner.

​AROMA, a FET-Open H2020 project, aims to develop the methodology necessary for the optimal operation of the future 11.7 T MRI being installed at NeuroSpin. This 5-year project, coordinated by Nicolas Boulant (NeuroSpin), with an overall budget of 3.6 million euros, involving six partners from five countries representing academia and industry, started on January 1, 2021.

Published on 6 January 2021

​The AROMA project (Accurate, Reliable and Optimized functional MAgnetic resonance imaging at unprecedented field strength for unique exploration of the human brain) consists in developing the methodology necessary to exploit the full potential of a unique MRI scanner designed by CEA in the framework of the Iseult project, namely the 11.7 Tesla scanner currently being installed at NeuroSpin (photo). While this machine does indeed provide unprecedented potential, it can only be fully exploited once many of the technological challenges have been overcome. The main objectives envisaged within the framework of AROMA are the hardware development of innovative antennas, in order to optimize signal sensitivity; the design of paradigm shift radio-frequency pulses, in order to reduce the heterogeneity of the radio-frequency excitation, source of shadow zones and signal losses amplified at high field strength ; the correction of physiological noise (breathing, heartbeat) and movements thanks to the emerging technology of field sensors. All of this will be integrated into high-performance MRI sequences. Finally, after assembly, anatomical and functional MRI acquisitions will be carried out on healthy volunteers in order to validate the tools developed.

Future 11.7 T MRI scanner (whose Siemens components are being installed) at NeuroSpin © C.Doublé / CEA

The results of the project will primarily benefit functional MRI acquisitions (deciphering word encoding mechanisms, mathematics, etc.) and high-resolution anatomical MRI acquisitions (medical sector and clinical applications), allowing non-invasive in vivo exploration of the human brain at the mesoscopic scale.

The arsenal of techniques deployed in AROMA will produce a unified solution and constitute a paradigm shift with business opportunities and benefits for the MRI industry in general.

Joliot/NeuroSpin researcher contact : Nicolas Boulant

For more information, see the page dedicated to AROMA in our Europe pages.

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