Project Description

Magnetic resonance imaging provides immense anatomic and pathologic detail with relatively quick acquisition time. The objective of our work is to integrate an MRI scanner with a microscope to provide static 3D images with spatial resolution comparable to that found in optical microscopy. The construct’s field of view allows observation of cellular movement, and possibly cellular structures that cannot be discerned with traditional optical imaging techniques. The challenges associated with the project include developing an optimal set of RF pulse sequences for a select gradient system, maintaining high signal-to-noise ratio during, and mechanically integrating the construct with a microscope. Equipment and most RF-related optimization codes are provided by Weinberg Medical Physics in Rockville, MD, under the counsel of Dr. Irving Weinberg and Dr. Aleksandar Nacev.

Team Members

Zach Baker

My name is Zachary Baker. I am from Tampa, Florida, and I am a senior undergraduate studying Bioengineering with a concentration of Systems and Signals at George Mason University (GMU). I am the current leader of my senior design group. In the past, I have had research experiences in GMU’s Neural Engineering Lab, where I procured, maintained, and stimulated neuronal networks. I still work with this lab, and am currently funded by the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program to investigated learning in networks of spinal cord neurons. While my research activities are still tied to the Neural Engineering Lab, I find my interests shifting as I am exposed more and more to procedures like Magnetic Resonance Imaging. I hope to use my senior design project as my transition into the medical imaging field, which could very very well become the focus of my upper-level studies. In my free time I enjoy working out, playing video games, cooking, and spending quality time with my friends.

Linda Azab

My name is Linda Azab, I am an international student at George Mason University from Cairo, Egypt. I am currently a senior studying Bioengineering with a concentration in Signals and Systems. I am co-manager of the group for this project. My areas of interest are; Tissue Engineering, Medical Imaging and Robotics. I am an intern at the MedStar Rehabilitation Center in Washington, D.C., where we are working on non-invasive brain stimulation to enhance performance and learning of reaching tasks in individuals with stroke induced arm impairment. Working on this senior design project is very exciting for me as it falls under my interest in Medical Imaging, MRIs especially are very appealing to me in the way they operate. I am eager to gain experience from this project and hope to be able to take it further post-graduation.

Irvane Ngnie Kamga

My name is Irvane Ngnie Kamga. I am a pre-health undergraduate majoring in bioengineering. Prior to moving to the U.S. approximately four years ago to pursue my university studies, I lived in between Cameroon and France. I am currently managing the group, and as such, I am responsible for ensuring that all deadlines are met and that all assignments are completed well before their due date. Linda, co-manager on the project, and myself have established a timeline for goals to accomplish. My experience as a learning assistant here at GMU and my internship at a hospital center specialized in ophthalmology in Paris last year have helped reinforce my critical thinking, problem-solving, software programming, and data analysis skills that I hope will be valuable to the team. I am interested in pursuing research in the area of medical imaging, especially photoacoustic imaging.

Brenda Nguonly

My name is Brenda Nguonly, and I am from Centreville, Virginia. I am a senior in the undergraduate bioengineering program, with a concentration in signals and systems. I worked alongside a graduate student at the GMU Center for Neural Informatics, Neural Structures and Neural Plasticity for two semesters, using SQL on NetBeans IDE. I currently work at a jewelry store, rendering custom pieces on CAD software and 3D printing their wax models for casting. I want to pursue a career in biomaterials, particularly in hydrogel technology and nanoparticle surface engineering. The MRI-related knowledge I will gain from this project can be applied to magnetic nanoparticle research in the context of cancer therapy, drug delivery, and tissue repair. I am also a fish mom who hikes on the weekends.




Aleksandar N. Nacev is the Chief Technology Officer at Promaxo, Inc. leading the development of a novel single sided clinical magnetic resonance scanner for imaging the pelvic region. Additionally, he consults for Weinberg Medical Physics, LLC. on the creation of unique magnetic resonance scanners and magnetic particle manipulation machines. He received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. He started his career as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Maryland, College Park. His research specialties are in the areas of magnetic particle manipulation, fast MRI, and electropermanent magnetics.

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