Toward 20 T magnetic resonance for human brain studies: opportunities for discovery and neuroscience rationale

  • Thomas F. BudingerEmail author
  • Mark D. Bird
  • Lucio Frydman
  • Joanna R. Long
  • Thomas  H. Mareci
  • William  D. Rooney
  • Bruce Rosen
  • John  F. Schenck
  • Victor  D. Schepkin
  • A. Dean Sherry
  • Daniel  K. Sodickson
  • Charles  S. Springer
  • Keith  R. Thulborn
  • Kamil Uğurbil
  • Lawrence  L. Wald
Review Article


An initiative to design and build magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) instruments at 14 T and beyond to 20 T has been underway since 2012. This initiative has been supported by 22 interested participants from the USA and Europe, of which 15 are authors of this review. Advances in high temperature superconductor materials, advances in cryocooling engineering, prospects for non-persistent mode stable magnets, and experiences gained from large-bore, high-field magnet engineering for the nuclear fusion endeavors support the feasibility of a human brain MRI and MRS system with 1 ppm homogeneity over at least a 16-cm diameter volume and a bore size of 68 cm. Twelve neuroscience opportunities are presented as well as an analysis of the biophysical and physiological effects to be investigated before exposing human subjects to the high fields of 14 T and beyond.


Magnetic resonance imaging Ultrahigh magnetic fields High temperature superconductors Diffusion tensor imaging Parallel transmit and receive strategies Human brain chemistry Magnetic field physiologic effects 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© ESMRMB 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas F. Budinger
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mark D. Bird
    • 2
  • Lucio Frydman
    • 2
    • 3
  • Joanna R. Long
    • 4
  • Thomas  H. Mareci
    • 4
  • William  D. Rooney
    • 5
  • Bruce Rosen
    • 6
  • John  F. Schenck
    • 7
  • Victor  D. Schepkin
    • 2
  • A. Dean Sherry
    • 8
  • Daniel  K. Sodickson
    • 9
  • Charles  S. Springer
    • 5
  • Keith  R. Thulborn
    • 11
  • Kamil Uğurbil
    • 10
  • Lawrence  L. Wald
    • 6
  1. 1.Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.National High Magnetic Field LaboratoryFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  3. 3.Weizmann InstituteRehovotIsrael
  4. 4.McKnight Brain InstituteUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  5. 5.Oregon Health and Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA
  6. 6.Massachusetts General HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolHarvardUSA
  7. 7.General Electric Corporate ResearchSchenectadyUSA
  8. 8.University of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA
  9. 9.School of MedicineNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  10. 10.University of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  11. 11.University of IllinoisChicagoUSA

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