During the four-year project a team of scientists, engineers and mathematicians at the University of Bath will undertake a fundamental revision of electron spin resonance imaging, a technique for body scanning.
They hope that electron spin resonance imaging will eventually take a three-dimensional “snapshot” image of the chemical state of an organ such as the heart. This would be an immensely important advance, and could lead to new treatments for serious illnesses.
At present instruments do not have the sensitivity or speed to do this but using the latest research into measurement techniques and data analysis could improve the sensitivity of the machinery by 100 times or more. This could, in turn, allow some images to be recorded 10,000 times faster, or with 10,000 times more spatial information.
Even relatively modest improvements in the technical performance of electron spin resonance imaging instruments are potentially very important to medical research scientists.
The Bath team will be working closely with two such experts at the University of the West of England, Bristol and Cardiff Medical School to develop the new technologies.
Electron spin resonance imaging instruments work in a similar way to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) body scanners that are already widely used in hospitals. However, whereas MRI scanners use the magnetic properties of the protons in water to generate an image, electron spin resonance instruments use the magnetic properties of electrons.
This fundamental difference makes electron spin resonance more suited to imaging chemical processes than MRI. However, it also makes it technically much more difficult, and has so far restricted its use to the research laboratory.
The project’s initiator, Dr Stephen Bingham, of the University of Bath’s Department of Physics, said: “The enormous potential of electron spin resonance imaging has been recognised in the scientific community for some time - however, this promise remains largely unrealised.
“The substantial improvement in performance that is necessary will not come from tinkering with current technology, so our task is to bring fresh thinking to this problem. We will be adapting several technologies that have been developed in other fields of science and engineering and applying them to electron spin resonance imaging for the first time.”
Dr Bingham is working with Dr Daniel Wolverson and Professor John Davies in the Department of Physics, with Professor Dave Rodger and Dr Chris Clarke of the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, and with the mathematician Professor Chris Jennison, Dean of the Faculty of Science. They are working with the University’s Research & Innovation Services to ensure the future wide availability of the technology through its commercialisation. Biomedical evaluation will be done in collaboration with Professor Simon Jackson, at the Centre for Research in Biomedicine, University of the West of England, Bristol, and Dr Philip James of the Wales Heart Research Institute, Cardiff University.
The project is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
Tony Trueman | alfa
A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes
28.03.2017 | Technische Universität Braunschweig
3-D visualization of the pancreas -- new tool in diabetes research
15.03.2017 | Umea University
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences