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Smart medical implants in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)


Active implantable medical devices (AIMDs), such as cardiac pacemakers, have already been implanted in millions of patients worldwide. However, individuals with AIMDs still face limitations in accessing state-of-the-art MRI technology due to the potential risks involved. This restriction is due to the fact that MR scanners employ powerful radiofrequency fields which can result in tissue burns via induced currents on AIMD electrodes. The hazard depends on patient-anatomy, the exact AIMD lead trajectory in the body, and MR-protocol parameters, making it challenging to accurately predict and mitigate it. Moreover, ensuring patient safety requires MRI personnel to execute intricate manual safety procedures, a time-consuming and error-prone task.

Within the STASIS project of the European Partnership on Metrology, Berk Silemek and coworkers from PTB's MR-technology group 8.11 developed an innovative solution: a compact and cost-effective sensor that can be integrated into AIMDs to promptly measure radiofrequency-induced signals on the device. The data from the real-time sensors are wirelessly transmitted to the MR scanner which processes this information to optimize image quality while patient safety is always ensured (B Silemek et al.: Wirelessly interfacing sensor-equipped implants and MR scanners for improved safety and imaging. Magn Reson Med 2023. doi: 10.1002/mrm.29818).


Berk Silemek, E-Mail: 📧 berk.silemek(at)ptb.de