For clinicians to host the Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system they need rather expensive scanners and certain special facilities; which makes it difficult for hospitals everywhere to actually afford and maintain an MRI machine in their respective hospitals.
The good news is, that thank to new metamaterials that have been developed; things will get seamless very soon. Boston University has developed these metamaterials in order to the quality of MRI imaging. As a result of their efforts, cost effective MRIs might soon become a reality as they will facilitate lower power MRI scanners whose outcome quality will be the same as the quality of already existing more powerful devices.
Using powerful magnets could help improve the quality of MRI imaging; it is also a method that costs a lot. Therefore, a new approach was adopted by the team of researchers from the Boston University. The radio waved emitted by the patient’s body into the MRI machine became their focus, as they worked to improve its fidelity. For this purpose they devised a metamaterial device that can improve the quality of MRI imaging by simply being positioned next to the body part of the patient that needs imaging. The cost of manufacturing this metamaterial device amounts to $10 only. According to the team, apart from being so low in cost MRI scanners which will due to their low cost become more accessible, but they will work faster and better as well.
It is important to understand that the high energy radio signals that are transmitted into the patient’s body by MRIs unfortunately trigger lower energy bursts in return. The power of this returning signal will increase due to the copper wired and plastic constituted new metamaterial; consequently improving the clarity of images too.
Another reason which makes imaging quality superior is that the device’s functionality is turned off during transmission of radio signals by the scanner; while once the transmission is completed, immediately the functionality is turned on, left to boost the return signal’s power.
Ana Fischer is the acting CEO and executive director of the commercial USA Association of the States Pharmaceutical Industry. She has been registered with the General Dental Council for three years as a dental care professional and has worked in a variety of clinical roles as well as her current academic position, some examples are within community, private and mixed practice.