Skip to Main Content
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a powerful medical diagnostic tool. Its value would be greatly increased if it were possible to physically manipulate objects within the MRI during imaging. However, the extraordinarily strong magnetic fields used by the MRI make conventional electromagnetic components, such as actuators and sensors, unusable. In this paper, it is shown that devices constructed using binary polymer based actuators, called electrostrictive polymer actuators (EPAM) are able to function effectively within the MRI without degrading its imaging performance. These actuators eliminate the need for conventional electromagnetic actuators and their associated electronics. The binary nature of the actuators eliminates the need for feedback sensors to control the devices motion. The basic concept called digital mechatronics is briefly summarized in this paper. Its application to a reconfigurable MRI surface-imaging coil (RMIC) is also presented. Experimental results are presented that show the EPAM RMIC is completely compatible in the MRI and can be used to enhance the diagnostic capabilities of MRI. The paper also suggests other applications of binary EPAM based actuators for use in MRI systems.
Robotics and Automation, 2004. Proceedings. ICRA '04. 2004 IEEE International Conference on (Volume:3 )
Date of Conference: 26 April-1 May 2004