Constant Saturation of Magnetization Transfer in clinical MR relaxometry


  • The contrast on an MRI image is affected by many factors, but most significantly the tissue ‘relaxation’ times.
  • Standard radiology practice is to make MR images with different contrasts to be interpreted by a radiologist.
  • Modern quantitative MRI seeks instead to measure relaxation times to enable precision diagnosis reconstruction.

The Problem

  • Although relaxation times are important, they are not a complete description of the MRI signal in human tissue
  • So-called ‘magnetization transfer’ (MT) occurring between protons in water (which we view with MRI) and protons in other ‘semisolids’ in cells (which we don’t see but are always present) will affect the measurements we made
  • Most quantitative methods don’t account for MT – the result is that the measures we make depend on how we make them – i.e. they are not objective

The Solution

  • The Constant Saturation of Magnetization Transfer (CSMT) method uses special types of pulsed radio waves that ‘excite’ the MRI signal in such a ways that the magnetization of the semisolids is kept the same
  • The result is that the water relaxation times can be measured reliably and reproducibly


         A) Standard MRI scans                                                      B) CSMT scans

Figure 1: CSMT multi-vendor trial example : Measured relaxation time T1 on the same person using 5 different protocols (scanner settings) on 3 different vendor scanners. A) Left: using standard scans available on each scanner we see that results are different between vendors AND between different protocols. B) Right: with CSMT the relaxation measurements are consistent between vendors AND between different protocols


King’s are currently seeking commercial partners to help us develop this technology fully and bring the technology to market. A prospective development partner could take an option to a licence over the patent and associated know-how.

IP Status 

A priority patent application was filed in the UK (having priority date 06th April 2017). An international patent application has been filed in the US and EU (

Patent Information:
Medical devices
For Information, Contact:
Pushkar Wadke
King's College London
Rui Pedro Azeredo Gomes Teixeira
Joseph Hajnal
Shaihan Malik