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Sep 10, 2006

Portable MRI

Via the Neurophilosopher's blog 

Alexander Pines and his colleagues at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are working on a new laser-based MRI technique which may lead to the development of a cheap and compact scanning device.

The experimental technique is based on a method called atomic magnetometry, which allows to detect the magnetic signals produced by water molecules without the large magnets or complex cooling systems used in conventional fMRI.

From the LBNL website:

Alexander Pines and colleagues at Berkeley Lab have developed a method to improve NMR/MRI resolution either inside of poorly shimmed magnets or outside of portable one-sided magnet systems, which accommodate arbitrarily sized samples.  This technique will enable for the first time the collection of multidimensional NMR/ MRI information in cases where on-the-spot medical diagnosis is critical, where samples cannot be moved to or placed inside of a superconducting magnet, or where inexpensive, highly inhomogeneous magnets are being used.  Other ex situ systems give relaxation data and sometimes slice-selective images, but not spectra and true 3D images.



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