Aluminum Thin Film Nanostructure Traces in Pediatric EEG Net for MRI and CT Artifact Reduction

Author Department


Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and continuous electroencephalogram (EEG) monitoring are essential in the clinical management of neonatal seizures. EEG electrodes, however, can significantly degrade the image quality of both MRI and CT due to substantial metallic artifacts and distortions. Thus, we developed a novel thin film trace EEG net ("NeoNet") for improved MRI and CT image quality without compromising the EEG signal quality. The aluminum thin film traces were fabricated with an ultra-high-aspect ratio (up to 17,000:1, with dimensions 30 nm × 50.8 cm × 100 µm), resulting in a low density for reducing CT artifacts and a low conductivity for reducing MRI artifacts. We also used numerical simulation to investigate the effects of EEG nets on the B1 transmit field distortion in 3 T MRI. Specifically, the simulations predicted a 65% and 138% B1 transmit field distortion higher for the commercially available copper-based EEG net ("CuNet", with and without current limiting resistors, respectively) than with NeoNet. Additionally, two board-certified neuroradiologists, blinded to the presence or absence of NeoNet, compared the image quality of MRI images obtained in an adult and two children with and without the NeoNet device and found no significant difference in the degree of artifact or image distortion. Additionally, the use of NeoNet did not cause either: (i) CT scan artifacts or (ii) impact the quality of EEG recording. Finally, MRI safety testing confirmed a maximum temperature rise associated with the NeoNet device in a child head-phantom to be 0.84 °C after 30 min of high-power scanning, which is within the acceptance criteria for the temperature for 1 h of normal operating mode scanning as per the FDA guidelines. Therefore, the proposed NeoNet device has the potential to allow for concurrent EEG acquisition and MRI or CT scanning without significant image artifacts, facilitating clinical care and EEG/fMRI pediatric research.

Keywords: B1 artifact; RF-induced currents; antenna effect; streak artifact.