Physics in medicine and biology

Development and testing of passive tracking markers for different field strengths and tracking speeds.

PMID 16510948


Susceptibility markers for passive tracking need to be small in order to maintain the shape and mechanical properties of the endovascular device. Nevertheless, they also must have a high magnetic moment to induce an adequate artefact at a variety of scan techniques, tracking speeds and, preferably, field strengths. Paramagnetic markers do not satisfy all of these requirements. Ferro- and ferrimagnetic materials were therefore investigated with a vibrating sample magnetometer and compared with the strongly paramagnetic dysprosium oxide. Results indicated that the magnetic behaviour of stainless steel type AISI 410 corresponds the best with ideal marker properties. Markers with different magnetic moments were constructed and tested in in vitro and in vivo experiments. The appearance of the corresponding artefacts was field strength independent above magnetic saturation of 1.5 T. Generally, the contrast-to-noise ratio decreased at increasing tracking speed and decreasing magnetic moment. Device depiction was most consistent at a frame rate of 20 frames per second.