Researchers develop low-cost, portable brain imaging scanner

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Relating to mind scans for assessing head trauma, detecting mind most cancers, and performing quite a few different checks, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the best choice, however MRI scanners are pricey, require particular infrastructure, and are motionless. Now a staff led by investigators at Massachusetts Normal Hospital (MGH) has developed a low-cost, compact, moveable and low-power “head solely” MRI scanner that could possibly be mounted in an ambulance, wheeled right into a affected person’s room, or put in small clinics or docs’ workplaces all over the world. The advance is described in a research printed in Nature Biomedical Engineering.

“Though MRI is the premier imaging modality for mind imaging, the acquisition and set up of conventional high-field MRI scanners could be prohibitively costly and tough,” says lead creator Clarissa Zimmerman Cooley, Ph.D., an investigator in Radiology at MGH’s Athinoula A. Martinos Heart for Biomedical Imaging. “Even in a hospital the place MRI scanners can be found, there are circumstances the place it could be too tough or harmful to move the affected person to scanner suites. The work on this paper was actually motivated by this want for extra accessible MRI.”

Cooley and her colleagues designed and examined a conveyable prototype scanner for mind MRI that may be plugged into an ordinary outlet and emits a lot much less noise than conventional MRI scanners. The magnet itself is concerning the dimension of a laundry basket, and the overall weight of the total scanner system (together with the magnet, coils, amplifiers, console and cart) is 230kg, or about 500 kilos, and the cart could be pushed by a single particular person for transport. If the usual gear elements are changed with customized environment friendly light-weight designs, the overall weight could possibly be lowered to 160 kg, or roughly 350 kilos.

When examined in three wholesome grownup volunteers, the scanner generated 3-D mind photographs, sometimes inside 10 minutes.

“Such a know-how might actually prolong the attain of MRI,” says Cooley. “With some additional improvement, this might permit really point-of-care, bedside mind imaging for sufferers or scanning in distant areas, the place MRI has historically been unavailable.”

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