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Biomagnetic Imaging


The biomagnetic imaging program develops standards, measurement methods, and new magnetic imaging modalities for biomedical and environmental applications.


Biomagnetic Imaging Standards: Develops calibration structures (phantoms) and validates quantitative imaging protocols for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); focusing on standards for cancer, brain, and multimodal imaging.

NIST/SMRM system phantom
biomagnetic imaging phantoms

Figure 1. NIST MRI system, diffusion, and breast phantoms

Magnetic Nanoagents: Develops nanofabricated agents that can sense and report local properties including , agent ID, location, temperature, pH.

microfabricated smart agents

Figure 2. (a) Microfabricated smart agents that have water proton resonance shifts to indicate particle ID, local temperature or pH. (b) Rare-earth doped iron oxide nanoparticle imaging agents.

New magnetic imaging modalities: Developing ultralow field (ULF) MRI, magnetic resonance elastography, electron paramagnetic resonance imaging.

Major Accomplishments:

  • Developed and commercialized MRI system phantom (with ISMRM), isotropic diffusion phantom (with NCI, RSNA), universal breast phantom (with NCI, UCSF). Phantoms delivered to clinical sites and major clinical trials, including Track-TBI and ISPY2.
  • Invented microfabricated MRI contrast agents with spectral signatures based on the geometry of the magnetic microstructures. Developed smart self-reporting agents for pH, temperature and strain.

End Date:


Lead Organizational Unit:



Adele Peskin
Andrew Dienstfrey
Zydrunas Gimbutas (ITL)
Brian Zimmerman (Radiation Physics)


John Moreland (ULF-MRI)
Joshua Biller
Michael Boss (MRI standards for brain)
Cameron Clickner
Stephen Russek (imaging physics)
Katy Keenan (MRI standards for cancer)
Karl Stupic (multimodal standards)
Gary Zabow (magnetic nano-agents)


John Moreland
(303) 497-3641

325 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80305-3328