Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NMR Microscope Allows Doctors to Focus on Diseased Soft Tissue

07.04.2004


Imagine what it was like to take a photograph of an object such as a tree, before the wide availablilty of zoom lenses. You would be able to make out the shape and the branches from a distance but you wouldn’t be able to see the smaller branches or leaves. Until recently, Doctors have been in a similar situation regarding NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) imaging of organs and other features deep within the body. Thanks to a new NMR microscope developed by Oxford Researchers, Doctors will in future be able to focus in with a magnification factor of around x100 on ’hot spots’ or areas identified as a potentially life threatening soft tissue disease such as cancer or an aneurysm in order to make a more reliable diagnosis in a more comfortable way for the patient.



The imaging of very small features within the human body using NMR has long been a desirable objective, not only because the images provided using current methods of PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scanning are not detailed enough i.e. they do not allow images of organs or other features deep within the body to be created in enough detail, but also because they involve the use of unpleasant processes such as injecting opaque dyes and time restricted large dose levels of X-rays.

Researchers at Oxford University have developed a waveguide technology which permits the detailed examination of features located at its tip. The tapered pickup allows the collection of very localised signals whilst isolating them from surrounding objects resulting in the possibility of collecting very high resolution MRI data.


The simple, narrow, tapered pickup device basically works as a funnel for the electromagnetic fields used in NMR imaging, constricting and concentrating them down its bore such that the field strength at the tip of the device is significantly concentrated. In its simplest embodiments the concentration ratio determines the degree of field expansion produced. Waveguides with tips as narrow as 10 microns have been proposed, which would potentially magnify the field distribution presented at the tip by several hundred times.

"It is envisaged that this new technology is as significant to NMR imaging today as zoom lenses were to photography in the past. It will also help to make the process a much less daunting experience for the patient" stated Dr Robert Adams, a project manager for Isis Innovation Ltd the technology transfer company of Oxford University.

Kim Bruty | alfa

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New antibody analysis accelerates rational vaccine design
09.08.2018 | Scripps Research Institute

nachricht Distrust of power influences choice of medical procedures
01.08.2018 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

Im Focus: World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone

14.08.2018 | Information Technology

During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

First study on physical properties of giant cancer cells may inform new treatments

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>