Researchers at Purdue University have developed a patient-friendly MRI coil that could eventually produce images at a much higher quality than today’s standards, according to research published in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.
The new radio-frequency coil is stretchable and wearable, unlike rigid, traditional coils that are difficult to work with. The coils are placed close to a patient’s skin.’
Purdue’s College of Engineering Assistant Professor Joseph Rispoli said, “Imagine going for an imaging session and they strap on a comfortable fabric with the coils embedded inside. We created an adaptable, wearable and stretchable fabric embroidered with conducive threads that provides excellent signal-to-noise ratio for enhanced MRI scanning.”
Rispoli and his colleagues borrowed a special thread technology used in the aerospace and defense sectors to create their hardware. They used stretched coils to produce in-vivo human wrist images and then compared those to scans taken using a fast-spin echo sequence. Initial results showed a 13-30% decrease is signal-to-noise ratio, compared to standard coils.
The engineers’ min target is joint imaging, but the technology can also be applicable to breast MRI. After all, anyone who has experienced a mammogram or MRI can tell you how uncomfortable the tests can be.
"Our preliminary results show a full-scale device will be superior in all aspects of diagnostic testing, including increased sensitivity and fewer false positives," Rispoli said.
The research team is working with the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization to patent the new technology. The National Institutes of Health helped fund some of the work. They are looking for partners to continue developing their technology.
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At Atlantis Worldwide, new medical imaging technology is always of interest. However, it can often take years to arrive in the marketplace. If your hospital, clinic, urgent care center or veterinary office is in need of medical imaging equipment, remember that refurbished or used technology can deliver the performance you want at a price that is kinder to your budget. We also have used and refurbished MRI coils. Talk to the team at Atlantis Worldwide for more information.
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