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An essential method to investigate neuromodulation effects of an invasive neural interface (INI) is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Presently, MRI imaging of patients with neural implants is highly restricted in high field MRI (eg, 3 T and higher) due to patient safety concerns. This results in lower resolution MRI images and, consequently, degrades the efficacy of MRI imaging for diagnostic purposes in these patients. Cubic silicon carbide (3C-SiC) is a biocompatible wide-band-gap semiconductor with a high thermal conductivity and magnetic susceptibility compatible with brain tissue. It also has modifiable electrical conductivity through doping level control. These properties can improve the MRI compliance of 3C-SiC INIs, specifically in high field MRI scanning. In this work, the MRI compliance of epitaxial SiC films grown on various Si wafers, used to implement a monolithic neural implant (all-SiC), was studied. Via finite element method (FEM) and Fourier-based simulations, the specific absorption rate (SAR), induced heating, and image artifacts caused by the portion of the implant within a brain tissue phantom located in a 7 T small animal MRI machine were estimated and measured. The specific goal was to compare implant materials; thus, the effect of leads outside the tissue was not considered. The results of the simulations were validated via phantom experiments in the same 7 T MRI system. The simulation and experimental results revealed that free-standing 3C-SiC films had little to no image artifacts compared to silicon and platinum reference materials inside the MRI at 7 T. In addition, FEM simulations predicted an~ 30% SAR reduction …
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Publication date: 
1 Feb 2021

Mohammad Beygi, William Dominguez-Viqueira, Chenyin Feng, Gokhan Mumcu, Christopher L Frewin, Francesco La Via, Stephen E Saddow

Biblio References: 
Volume: 12 Issue: 2 Pages: 126