Jul 23, 2007
Novel brain-scanning technology invented
Researchers from Siemens have developed a prototype MRI scanner that uses a lattice of small coils positioned around the head rather than large coils you lie inside. As noted in this Technology Review article, the device is likely to have important applications in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a variation of standard MRI that tracks blood flow in the brain as an indirect measure of activity.
The technique is often used to locate the parts of the brain that control specific functions, such as speech and movement. The first clinical application for the device will likely be fMRI for neurosurgery planning, says [Siemens MR vice president] Bundy. "Surgeons want to know where speech and motor areas are when they take a tumor out- the more precise, the better."