1969
1970
March/71
Spring/71
Sept./71
March/72
Oct/72
March/73
1974
1975
1977
1980
1980
1997
Original Concept
Damadian Conceives of and proposes whole body MR scanner for the first time.(Doc:30,30a)
Key Discovery Makes MR Scanner Possible
Damadian identifies T1/T2 differences between cancer and normal. He was seeking an MR signal difference in an important disease (cancer) that would prove his idea of an MR body scanner was a goal worth pursuing. Submits paper (Doc:1,1a)
First Published Article
Damadian T1/T2 findings and scanner proposal published in Science, March 19, 1971. High pixel contrast provided by dramatic T1/T2 differences overcomes x-ray's century-old inability to see detail in vital organs. (Doc;1,1d,1c)
Scanning Method Proposed
Damadian outlines voxel-by-voxel scanning method. (Doc:6,6c; Doc:4,4a)
Gradient Method Proposed
Lauterbur notebook proposal of gradient methods of Gabillard, Purcell & Carr for 1-dimension (incomplete) scan method. (Doc:3.1, 22, 40)
First Patent Filed
Damadian files '832 patent for 3-dimension voxel-by-voxel scan method and T1/T2 method. Issued in '74. (Doc: 7, 30a, 20.1, 20.1a, 45)
2D Scan (Image) Achieved
Lauterbur submits 2-dimension MR scan (image) method with scan of 1mm tubes for publication (Doc: 5, 5a)
2D Paper Published
Lauterbur paper published in Nature, March 16, 1973 (Doc:5, 5b)
3D Scan Method Proposed
Garroway, Grannell & Mansfield publish 3-dimension scan method*
Phase Coding Introduced
Kumar, Welti & Ernst introduce phase encoding to scan method.**
First Human Scan Achieved
Damadian and coworkers, Minkoff and Goldsmith, achieve first scan (image) of the human body utilizing voxel method of patent. (Doc: 17, 17.5, 26, 27, 46)
Phase Coding Applied
Aberdeen group introduces spin warp method***
First Commercial MRI
Damadian and FONAR introduce first commercial MRI scanner utilizing voxel method of patent.
Patent Upheld
High Court on U.S. Patents and U.S. Supreme Court enforce Damadian '832 patent. (Doc:43)
TIMELINE OF MRI BIBLIOGRAPHY

Document: 30, 30a
Health Research Council of the City of New York --- Damadian's request to the Health Research Council of the City of New York proposing the MR (NMR) body scanner and requesting the funds to pursue it. (“Pioneers of NMR and MR…Bar Ilan Univ. Press, 1996, Chapt. 8, pg A3)

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1969

Document: 1,1a --- Science 1971
Damadian submits manuscript to Science on Oct. 12, 1970 reporting his June 1970 discovery of the large tissue relaxation differences in cancer. (Science 171 (1971) pg 1153)

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1970

Document: 1,1d,1c--- Science 1971
Damadian's T1/T2 findings in cancer and normal tissues published, and
x-ray's soft tissue contrast deficiency identified by him as problematic in medicine for cancer detection. The prospect of overcoming that deficiency using the MR (NMR) together with the tissue relaxation to detect cancers by apparatus external to the body is proposed. (Science 171 (1971) pg 1151-1153)

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March /71

Document: 6, 6c
State University of New York (SUNY) periodical, Downstate Reporter, publishes Damadian relaxation discovery, his intention to build a body scanner based on it, and his first proposal of a 3D voxel-by-voxel scanning method obtained by passing the patient back and forth across the magnet. (“Pioneers of NMR and MRI…Bar Ilan Univ. Press, 1996, Chapt. 8, pg A5)

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Spring /71

Document: 4, 4a
Letter from G. Donald Vickers, President Seimco Corporation, former Vice-President of NMR Specialties Corp. where Damadian performed his original NMR measurements on cancerous rat tissues. Vickers was also the witness to the Lauterbur notebook entry of Sept. 1971 (Doc. 3.1b, 3.1c). The letter testifies of the priority of: Damadian's conceptualization of the NMR body scanner, the discovery of the relaxation differences to implement the scanner, and the proposal of his first voxel-by-voxel method for accomplishing the scan. (“Pioneers of NMR and MRI… Bar Ilan Univ. Press, 1996, Chapt. 8, pg A22, A23)

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Spring /71

Document 3.1
Lauterbur notebook entry, witnessed by Lauterbur and Vickers (author of Doc. 4) recording his proposal of the gradient for spatial discrimination in one-dimension only (3 dimensional spatial resolution is required for a scan). The method had been previously published in the 1950's by Gabillard (Doc. 22) and by Carr and Purcell (Doc.40) for the same purpose (one dimensional spatial discrimination).

The witnessed Lauterbur notebook entry acknowledges Damadian's priority. (“Pioneers of NMR and MRI…, Bar Ilan Univ. Press, 1996, Chapt. 9, pg B3)

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Sept.1971

Document 22
Publication of the gradient for 1-dimensional spatial resolution by Gabillard in 1951. (hebd. Seanc. Acad. Sci. (1951) Paris, 232, 1551-1553; Phys. Rev. 85 (1952), pg 694-695)

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Sept.1971

Document 40
Letter to the editor by Herman Carr reports that use of gradient for spatial discrimination was published in the 1950's prior to Lauterbur's use of the gradient for the same purpose in 1973. (H.Carr, Phys. Today Jan 1993, pg 94); H.Y. Carr, EM Purcell, Phys. Rev. 94, 630 (1954))

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Sept.1971

Document 7
U.S. Patent 3,789,832 (the '832 patent), filed on March 17, 1972 by Damadian describes the use of the T1 and T2 relaxations as a method for detecting cancer and provides the first method ever for accomplishing a scan of the live human body.

The patent also provides the first method ever for a means of achieving the needed 3d spatial localization necessary to accomplish a body scan. It describes the method of using this localization to scan the live human body to detect cancer. The patented scanning method accomplishes the 3D spatial localization of a voxel-by-voxel acquisition by the combined shaping of the static and rf magnetic fields [see Doc. 45, footnote to Doc. 45 and Doc. 20.1].

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March/72

Document 20.1, 20.1a
1980 Marketing brochure of Oxford Instruments describing the Oxford TMR (topical magnetic resonance) small animal spectrometer that uses the same voxel method as the Damadian 1972 patent. The cover is a color graphical illustration of the saddle-shaped static magnetic field used in the Oxford TMR spectrometer to achieve spatial localization. The brochure describes the combined use of shaped ("focussed") static and rf magnetic fields for spatial localization using means analogous to the Hewlett-Packard rf "focussing" patent and the Damadian patent. The first use by Oxford of the method was in 1980 (see-cited references and accompanying text). (“Topical Magnetic Resonance,” Oxford Research Systems Ltd.; Nuffield Way, Abingdon Oxfordshire OX14 1Rx, England Cat. No TMR 20, Printed in England 2M/AMSG/682)

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March/72

Document 45
Hewlett-Packard patent by J. D. Larson (1993) citing Damadian 1972 patent describes use of rf focussing for accomplishing spatial localization in MR scans of the human body. (U.S. Patent, 5,185,573, Feb 9, 1993)

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March/72

Document 5, 5a, 5b
Publication submitted to Nature by Lauterbur in Oct. 1972. The citation by Lauterbur of Damadian's prior discovery, that was in his private witnessed notebook (Doc. 3.1, 3.1c), is not included in the publication. (Nature, London, 242 (1973), pg. 190-191)

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Oct./72, March/73

Document 17
Publication of the first image of the live human body. (Physiol. Chem. & Phys. 9 (1977), pg 97-100,108)

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1977

Document 17.5
Publication of the first human image in an invited review in Naturwissenschaften. (Naurwissensehaften 65 (1978) pg 250-252)

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1977

Document 26
Notebook entries at the time of the first human scan. (“ Pioneers of NMR and MRI….Bar Ilan Univ. Press 1996, Chap 8, pg A20-A21)

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1977

Document 27
Publication of first scans of patients with cancer. (Physio. Chem. & Phys. 10, (1978) pg 285-287

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1977

Document 46
Report of first human scans of normal and cancerous patients at the Royal Society in London in 1979 (Phil. Trans. Royal Society London B289 (1980) pg. 489-500).

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1977

Document 43
Decision of the U.S. High Court on Patents in Washington, D.C.
(Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit) affirmed by the U.S.
Supreme Court. Decision affirms that all MRI scanners make use
of the T1/T2 Damadian discovery by using T1 and T2 to control
the brightness of the image pixels in T1 and T2 images.

(Note: The overwhelming majority of all MRI scans are T1 and T2
images), thereby creating the image contrast needed to detect
cancers. (Note: X-ray images are lacking in soft tissue contrast.)

CORPORATE SUMMARY OF VERDICT

On May 27, 1997 the Honorable Wm. H. Rehnquist, Chief Justice, the
United States Supreme Court, enforced the Order of the Federal Circuit
Court of Appeals and ordered G.E. to pay Fonar. G.E. paid Fonar
$128,705,766 for patent infringement. G.E. was further restrained from
any use of Fonar technology.

The Court found that G.E. had infringed U.S. Patent 3,789,832,
MRI's first patent, which was filed with the U.S. Patent Office in 1972
by Dr. Damadian. The Court concluded that MRI machines rely on
the tissue NMR relaxations that were claimed in the patent as a method
for detecting cancer, and that MRI machines use these tissue relaxations
to control pixel brightness and supply the image contrasts that detect
cancer in patients.*

The Court also found infringement of U.S. Patent 4,871,966 concerning
a technique of obtaining MRI images at multiple angles.

AFFIRMED BY THE
UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT

* The patent also discloses the first ever comparison study of the tissue
NMR relaxations of the normal tissues thus demonstrating for the first
time that the discovery by Dr. Damadian of the dramatic differences
in the NMR relaxations of living tissues disclosed in the patent is true
for living tissue in general. The discovered relaxation differences of
both the cancerous and normal tissues are and integral part of the Court
enforced 1972 patent claims (Claim 1a,1b,1c) establishing standards
for the normal tissues and malignant tissues of the same type. The NMR
relaxation differences disclosed in the patent for normal tissues as well
as for cancers are used throughout MRI imaging to supply and control
pixel contrast. The tissue NMR relaxation, which does not exist in any
other imaging modality, provides the exceptional contrast of MRI (10
to 30 times that of x-ray) and is responsible for the extraordinary beauty
of the MRI image.

http://www.law.emory.edu/fedcircuit/feb97/96-1075.html

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1997

* A.N. Garroway, P.K. Grannell and P. Mansfield
J. Phys. C: Solid State Phys. 7, (1974), L457-462

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** J. Magn. Res 18, (1975), 69

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*** Edelstein, W.A., Hutchinson, JMS, Johnson G.
Redpath T.W. Phys. Med Biol 25:751 (1980)

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Note: Document numbers correspond to the document set contained in the "Timeline of MRI" volume in the Archive and Special Collections, Medical Research Library of Brooklyn SUNY Downstate Medical Center  
Alfred Nobel's Will

Alfred Nobel's Will required that the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology be given for "discovery" only. This is different than the Nobel Prize in Physics which is given for "discovery or invention" and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry which is given for "discovery or improvement"

Below is the exact wording of part of the translation into English of Alfred Nobel's will, which was signed in Paris on 27 November 1895.

"The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: The capital shall be invested by my executors in safe securities and shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind ... ; one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine; ... The prizes for ... shall be awarded by ... that for physiology or medicine by the Carolinska Institute in Stockholm; ... ''

http://www.nobel.se/medicine/articles/lindsten-ringertz-rev/

 

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