Don't move a muscle! Patients certainly have to take this request to heart if they have to lie in a magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) device – otherwise movement artefacts result on the images produced by the MRT.
These are distorting elements in the image which show the movement of the body, but not the body itself. Movement is a disturbing factor which leads to blurring and "ghosting" in the MRT image. Patients, however, have to have not only a lot of patience but also endurance, as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test can take up to 30 minutes. But even if the patient does not move once during the whole time, movement artefacts cannot be ruled out.
Some parts of the body are always moving – for example the lungs expand when you breathe in and the chest goes up and down. The movement of the heart muscle also leads to distortions in the image – as it changes shape during the pumping cycle. With the aid of an ultra-broadband radar device, these vital movements during measurement can be taken into consideration and the MRI measurements can be corrected.
The joint use of both technologies is being tested with the aid of a prototype developed at the Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB, Germany's national metrology institute), which arose in co-operation with Ilmenau University of Technology. This project is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, the German Research Foundation) in the frame of a priority programme running for six years.The interdisciplinary research project ultraMEDIS within the DFG priority programme 1202 "Ultra wide-band radio technologies for communication, localisation and sensor technology" is aimed at using ultra-wideband (UWB) radar techniques for the detection of tumours, as well as for navigation technology in magnetic resonance (MR) imaging.
The high temporal and spatial resolution of radar sensors, their compatibility to existing narrow-band systems, the low integral power of the probing signals and their ability to penetrate objects are thereby exploited. Especially the latter one is the very property which makes UWB radar so attractive for medical applications.
The Project is carried out in cooperation with the Technical University of Ilmenau and with medical partners from University of Jena, whose special attention lies on tumor detection.
Imke Frischmuth | alfa
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