Michael Martens


Michael A. Martens


Medical Imaging Physics, Industrial Physics, Magnetic Nanoparticle Imaging, High Energy Particle Physics, Accelerator Physics



Almost all of us have had (or will have) a medical imaging scan during our lifetime. This might be an X-ray to look for a broken bone, an MRI (Magnet Resonance Imaging) scan to look for tumors, or a PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scan that is part of a cancer treatment plan. My latest research involves understanding the physics principles used in these scanners and developing methods and instrumentation that will improve the quality of the images.

Within the field of MRI, one of my specific interests is the design and optimization of MgB2 (Magnesium Diboride) superconducting solenoid coils for the next generation of MRI. Significant reduction in the volume of liquid helium necessary for the commissioning and operation of a MRI scanner can be achieved by using MgB2 as the superconductor material. With the already rising and projected rise in the cost of helium, using MgB2 will provide substantial cost savings compared to traditional MRI scanners.

Another MRI research area is the optimization of RF coil design for parallel imaging. The quality of MRI images is enhanced by using multiple RF transmit and receive coils within a single coil package (such as a knee coil, breast coil, or head/neck spine coil.) However, the coupling and interference between the individual coils must be understood and well controlled in order to produce quality MRI images. Our research focuses on modeling the complex interaction between the individual RF coils as well as the electromagnetic interactions between the RF coils and the surrounding components in an MRI system such as the gradient coils and superconducting magnets. Within our RF lab we are able to test RF coil components and RF coil electronics and we are able to test prototype RF systems in clinically available MRI systems.

Our group has also become interested and active in the field of MPI (Magnetic Particle Imaging.) In particular we are interested in constructing detailed models, based on first principles of magnetism and thermodynamics, of the response of magnetic nanoparticles ferrofluids subjected to an external oscillating magnetic fields. We apply a Fokker-Planck approach to calculating the magnetization of the ferrofluid and compare the theoretical results against experimentally measured data.

Prior Research: Much of my career at Fermilab was dedicated to the understanding and operation of the Tevatron (a proton-antiproton synchrotron) which had been the highest energy particle accelerator in the world until the Large Hadron Collider at CERN was commissioned in 2010. During this time I was also a collaborator on several high energy particle physics experiments including the APEX experiment to search for the decay of the antiproton, the MiniMax experiment to search for disoriented chiral condensates, and the DZero experiment to study diffractive physics. More recently I have been a collaborator on the NOvA experiment to study the phenomenon of neutrino oscillations.


Publication in Medical Imaging

Martens, M., Baig, T., Cara, M., Brown, R., Doll, D., and Tomsic, M., “An actively shielded 3T MgB2 MRI magnet design”, Abstract accepted for *21stISMRM annual meeting and exhibition * 2013.

Martens, M., Baig, T., Cara, M., Brown, R., Doll, D., and Tomsic, M., “An actively shielded 1.5T MgB2 MRI magnet design”, Abstract accepted for *APS March meeting 2013*.

“Modeling the Brownian relaxation of nanoparticle ferrofluids: Comparison with experiment”, Michael A. Martens, Robert J. Deissler, Yong Wu, Lisa Bauer, Zhen Yao, Robert Brown, and Mark Griswold, Med. Phys. 40, 022303 (2013). (http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4773869).

“Simulation guidelines for incisions patterns on RF shields”, Yao, Z., Wu, Y., Chmielewski, T., Shvartsman, S., Eagan, T., Martens, M. and Brown, R., Concepts Magn. Reson., 41B: 37–49 (2012). ( http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cmr.b.21209/abstract).

M.A. Morich, J.L. Patrick, L. Petropoulus, M.A. Martens, R.W. Brown, “Elliptical Cross Section Gradient Coil”, U.S. Patent Number 5,177,441 (1993).

M.A. Morich, M.A. Martens, and R.W. Brown, “Biplanar Gradient Coil for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Systems”, U.S. Patent Number 5,036,282 (1991).

Publication in Experimental High Energy Physics

T.C. Brooks, et. al., “Analysis of Charged-Particle/Photon Correlations In Hadronic Multiparticle Production”, Phys. Rev. D 55, 5667-5680 (1997).

M. Hu, et al., “Search for Muonic Decays of the Anti-Proton at the Fermilab Anti-Proton Accumulator”, Phys. Rev. D 58, 111101 (1998).

T.C. Brooks, et al., “A Search for Disoriented Chiral Condensate at the Fermilab Tevatron”, Phys. Rev. D 61, 032003 (2000).

S. Geer, et. al., “Search for Anti-Proton Decay at the Fermilab Anti-Proton Accumulator”, Phys. Rev. D 62, 052004 (2000).

S. Geer, et. al., “A New limit on CPT violation”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 590-593 (2000). Erratum-ibid 85, 3546 (2000).

V.M. Abazov, et. al., “The Upgraded D0 detector”, Nucl. Instrum. Meth. A565:463-537, (2006).

V.M. Abazov, et. al., “Search for associated Higgs boson production WH  WWW*  l+- nu l-prime+- nu-prime + X in p anti-p collisions at s**(1/2) = 1.96-TeV”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 97:151804, (2006).

V.M. Abazov, et. al., “Measurement of the CP-violation parameter of B0 mixing and decay with p anti-p  mu mu X data”, Phys. Rev. D74:092001, (2006).

V.M. Abazov, et. al., “Measurement of the top quark mass in the dilepton channel”, Phys. Lett. B655:7, (2007).

V.M. Abazov, et. al., “Measurement of the ratios of the Z/gamma* + >= n jet production cross sections to the total inclusive Z/gamma* cross section in p anti-p collisions at s**(1/2) = 1.96-TeV”, Published in Phys.Lett.B658:112-119 (2008).

Publication in Accelerator Physics

C.M. Bhat, J. Griffin, J. MacLachlan, M. Martens, “Transition Crossing in Proton Synchrotrons Using a Flattened RF Wave”, Phys. Rev. E 55, 1028-1034 (1997).

T. Armstrong, et. al., “A Detector to Search for Anti-Proton Decay at the Fermilab Anti-Proton Accumulator”, Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. A 411, 210 (1998).


Rockefeller Building 105B

Other Information

Degree: B.S., Case Western Reserve University (1987)
Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University (1991)