CompuLife: A simulation platform for modeling interactions of electromagnetic waves with biological tissue in next-generation MRI systems


A vast array of medical technology relies on sophisticated control of electromagnetic and acoustic fields in human tissue, such as imaging modalities (e.g. magnetic resonance and ultrasound), treatment modalities (e.g. deep brain stimulation and localized hyperthermia), and wireless implantable devices (e.g. neurostimulators and pacemakers).  The combined market for these technologies is growing rapidly. 2020 market projections often exceed five trillion rubles, and that growth is driven primarily by market-expanding design innovations that either dramatically reduce cost or add substantial functionality. Yet it is stunning that given the huge market, the pace of technological innovation, and the human cost of flaws, field distribution in highly inhomogeneous human tissue is still being analyzed using tools developed for calculating signal and wave propagation in metal boxes and printed circuit boards. Now there is however an alternative, as demonstrated in a recent joint project between MIT and Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital on optimizing field patterns to minimize tissue heating during magnetic resonance imaging. The kind of speed we are offering will be paradigm-shifting for both magnetic resonance designers and for imaging specialists, since it will not only enable far more aggressive design exploration, but also it will enable patient-specific field optimization and in-situ safety verification. That makes every hospital, and every imaging clinic, a potential customer.