MRIs could become more accurate and affordable

Categorie(s) : Events, Innovation & Society, MINATEC, News, Research

Published : 3 October 2016

Researchers from Leti and G2Elab are working to develop a new kind of medical imaging technology, “fast field-cycling MRI” (FFC-MRI). The research is being conducted under the four-year EU IDentIFY project, which kicked off in 2016. The new MRI is expected to be both more accurate and affordable than current technologies.

The concept was developed at the University of Aberdeen, where a prototype was used to demonstrate the technology’s capacity to detect cancer, characterize pre-cancerous areas, and monitor diseased tissues’ response to treatment. FFC-MRI could also be used for the early diagnoses of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Controlling magnetic fields remains a major challenge

For the technology to one day be brought to patients, researchers will have to come up with a way to control the magnetic fields used—which range from a substantial 0.2 Tesla to levels well under the Earth’s magnetic field. With these very low magnetic fields, the slightest external disruption can modify the field, rendering the measurements taken inaccurate. What is more, the magnetic fields must be stable within a volume equivalent to a 30-cm-diameter sphere.

G2Elab and Leti will develop measurement and active compensation systems to counter disruptions to the magnetic field: G2ELab will focus on magnetic field modelling and measurement, while Leti will develop the correction spools and associated electronic components. A first project milestone is expected to be reached by the end of 2016.


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