Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical and Materials Engineering


Shaun Salisbury


In this research, a novel piezoelectric actuator was developed to operate safely inside the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine. The actuator based on novel design that generates linear and rotary motion simultaneously for higher needle insertion accuracy. One of the research main objectives is to aid in the selection of suitable materials for actuators used in this challenging environment. Usually only nonmagnetic materials are used in this extremely high magnetic environment. These materials are classified as MRI compatible materials and are selected to avoid hazardous conditions and image quality degradation. But unfortunately many inert materials to the magnetic field do not possess desirable mechanical properties in terms of hardness, stiffness and strength and much of the available data for MRI compatible materials are scattered throughout the literature and often too device specific . Furthermore, the fact that significant heating is experienced by some of these devices due to the scanner’s variable magnetic fields makes it difficult to draw general conclusions to support the choice of suitable material and typically these choices are based on a trial-and-error with extensive time required for prototype development and MRI testing of such devices.

This research provides a quantitative comparison of several engineering materials in the MRI environment and comparison to theoretical behavior which should aid designers/engineers to estimate the MRI compatible material performance before the expensive step of construction and testing. This work focuses specifically on the effects in the MRI due to the material susceptibility, namely forces, torques, image artifacts and induced heating.