Iron nanorobots show their true mettle

Drug-coated iron nanowires that can be guided to the site of a tumor using an external magnetic field before activating a three-step cancer-killing mechanism could provide an effective option for cancer therapy.

Using electronics to solve common biological problems

What do an electrical engineer, an organic chemist, a materials scientist and a cell biologist all have in common? They invent and improve applications at the interface of biology and electronics.

Two-in-one contrast agent for medical imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) visualizes internal body structures, often with the help of contrast agents to enhance sensitivity. A Belgian team of scientists has now developed a bimodal contrast agent suited for two imaging ...

Researchers lay foundation for smart contrast medium

Molecular imaging techniques are playing an increasingly important role in medical diagnostics and developing new treatment methods. An interdisciplinary team of researchers from the fields of chemistry, material sciences, ...

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Magnetic resonance imaging

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), or nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI), is primarily a medical imaging technique most commonly used in radiology to visualize the internal structure and function of the body. MRI provides much greater contrast between the different soft tissues of the body than computed tomography (CT) does, making it especially useful in neurological (brain), musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and oncological (cancer) imaging. Unlike CT, it uses no ionizing radiation, but uses a powerful magnetic field to align the nuclear magnetization of (usually) hydrogen atoms in water in the body. Radio frequency (RF) fields are used to systematically alter the alignment of this magnetization, causing the hydrogen nuclei to produce a rotating magnetic field detectable by the scanner. This signal can be manipulated by additional magnetic fields to build up enough information to construct an image of the body.:36

Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a relatively new technology. The first MR image was published in 1973 and the first cross-sectional image of a living mouse was published in January 1974. The first studies performed on humans were published in 1977. By comparison, the first human X-ray image was taken in 1895.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging was developed from knowledge gained in the study of nuclear magnetic resonance. In its early years the technique was referred to as nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI). However, as the word nuclear was associated in the public mind with ionizing radiation exposure it is generally now referred to simply as MRI. Scientists still use the term NMRI when discussing non-medical devices operating on the same principles. The term Magnetic Resonance Tomography (MRT) is also sometimes used.

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