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Archive for November 14th, 2007

The Future of MRI

Posted by medliorator on November 14, 2007

Ultra-low field MRI scanning

MRI scanners …typically require fields of a few tesla. The powerful magnets necessary make scanners pricey and also dangerous for people with metal implants.


The new device hits a sample with a 30 millitesla magnetic field, about 100 times weaker than is normally used in MRI. The device then uses a 46 microtesla magnetic field – about the same as the Earth’s magnetic field – to capture images of the sample.


The new set-up uses several ultra-sensitive sensors called superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs), which have to be kept at very low temperatures.


Ultra-low field MRI scanning was first performed with a single SQUID in 2004 by a group led by John Clarke at University of California, Berkeley, US, but this only allowed objects about the size of an apple to be scanned. The new device uses seven SQUIDs and can scan much larger objects.

Low-intensity MRI takes first scan of a human brain [NewScientist]

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