An MR-Compatible System for Motion Emulation

Tech ID: 28987 / UC Case 2017-506-0


Researchers at UCLA from the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Radiological Sciences have developed a magnetic resonance (MR) compatible device that can emulate respiratory motion.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an essential tool of modern medicine. The ability to simulate clinical conditions provides a means for physicians to perfect their techniques using MRI guidance and for scientists to engineer better hardware and processing for clearer images. Phantoms made of gelatin can simulate various body parts, but they do not simulate patient movement due to respiration, which can drastically affect image quality and introduce artifacts. A phantom that can simulate this respiratory movement is in high demand, as currently animals and robots are used for these simulations. However, animals have a high degree of variance and are not configurable to meet the needs of developers. Robots are configurable, but their components are unsafe around MRI machines and can distort the acquired images.


Researchers at UCLA from the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Radiological Sciences have developed a magnetic resonance- (MR-) compatible device that can emulate respiratory motion. Unlike other devices on the market, the lack of ferrometallic or electromagnetic components makes this device completely MR-compatible. This device can move 25 mm in one direction to mimic human respiration, but an amplifier can increase this range to 50 mm to mimic larger respiratory profiles. Their invention can emulate pre-recorded respiratory profiles from patients with less than 2% error and sub-millimeter error with amplification. This device is flexible in its ability to emulate multiple different respiration profiles and can help physicians and scientists develop novel and better MR techniques.


  • Simulating respiration movements in organs for MRI
  • Developing new MR methodologies and clinical MRI-guided techniques


  • No ferrometallic or electromagnetic parts to be completely MR-compatible
  • Little error when emulating patient respiration
  • Flexibility: can emulate many different patient profiles; movement can be amplified up to 50 mm to accommodate larger profiles
  • Less variance and more configurability than using animals

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
Patent Cooperation Treaty Reference for National Filings WO2018156522A1 08/30/2018 2017-506

Patent Pending


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  • Tsao, Tsu-Chin

Other Information


Phantom, respiration, MRI, MR, research tools, artifact, movement artifact, MR-compatible

Categorized As