Research

Major Breakthrough in New MRI Scan Technology for Lung Disease

New scanning technology which will give a much clearer picture of lung disease has taken a major step forward thanks to scientists at The University of Nottingham. The experts at the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre have developed a process using specially treated krypton gas as an inhalable contrast agent to make the spaces inside the lungs show up on an Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. It's hoped the new process will eventually allow doctors to virtually see inside the lungs of patients.

Traditional magnetic resonance imaging uses hydrogen protons in the body as molecular targets to give a picture of tissue but this does not give a detailed picture of the lungs because they are full of air. Recent technological developments have led to a novel imaging methodology called Inhaled Hyperpolarised Gas MRI that uses lasers to 'hyperpolarise' a noble (inert) gas which aligns (polarises) the nuclei of the gas so it shows up on an MRI scan.

The work will make 3D imaging using 'atomic spies' like helium, xenon, or krypton possible in a single breath hold by the patient. Nottingham has pioneered hyperpolarized krypton MRI and is currently advancing this technology towards the clinical approval processes.

Hyperpolarised MRI research has been trying to overcome a problem with these noble gases retaining their hyperpolarised state for long enough for the gas to be inhaled, held in the lungs and scanned. Now in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Nottingham team has developed a new technique to generate hyperpolarised krypton gas at high purity, a step that will significantly facilitate the use of this new contrast agent for pulmonary MRI.

Chair in Translational Imaging at the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre, Professor Thomas Meersmann, said: "It is particularly demanding to retain the hyperpolarized state of krypton during preparation of this contrast agent. We have solved a problem by using a process that is usually associated with clean energy related sciences. It's called catalytic hydrogen combustion. To hyperpolarise the krypton-83 gas we diluted it in molecular hydrogen gas for the laser pumping process. After successful laser treatment the hydrogen gas is mixed with molecular oxygen and literally exploded it away in a safe and controlled fashion through a catalysed combustion reaction.

"Remarkably, the hyperpolarized state of krypton-83 'survives' the combustion event. Water vapour, the sole product of the 'clean' hydrogen reaction, is easily removed through condensation, leaving behind the purified laser-polarized krypton-83 gas diluted only by small remaining quantities of harmless water vapour. This development significantly improves the potential usefulness of laser-pumped krypton-83 as MRI contrast agent for clinical applications."

This new technique can also be used to hyperpolarise another useful noble gas, xenon-129, and may lead to a cheaper and easier production of this contrast agent.

As part of a recent Medical Research Council funding award, hyperpolarised krypton-83 is currently being developed for whole body MRI at high magnetic field strength in the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre's large 7 Tesla scanner. Studies will be carried out first on healthy volunteers before progressing to patient trials at a later phase.

Most Popular Now

Smartphones and Wearable Devices co…

RADAR-CNS (Remote assessment of disease and relapse - Central Nervous System), a major new research programme supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) start...

Read more

Patientrack Recognised as One of 'T…

UK healthcare technology company Patientrack has been recognised as providing one of the best eHealth solutions anywhere in Europe, in an EU competition focussed on healt...

Read more

Merck in Agreement with HAPPYneuron…

Merck, a leading science and technology company, announced today that the company has entered into an agreement with HAPPYneuron, a subsidiary of SBT Group of France, in ...

Read more

Future Health Index 2016

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) today launched the results of the first edition of its Future Health Index (FHI), an extensive international study which explores how...

Read more

Mobile Technology: Is the NHS Closi…

Opinion Article by Steve Carvell, head of healthcare at CommonTime. Technology skills are in higher demand than ever. Look across any vertical and developers who can cre...

Read more

New Digital Centre to Help Improve …

A new centre for digital innovation which could transform the way mental health care is provided will be launched today. The Centre for Translational Informatics (CTI) is...

Read more

Tech Tour Healthtech Summit 2016

21 - 22 June 2016, Lausanne, Switzerland. The 2016 Healthtech Summit is the leading independent European event for investment in Digital Health and Medtech. The summit a...

Read more

eHealth Innovation Days Conference

8 - 9 September 2016, Flensburg, Germany. The first eHealth Innovation Days Conference at Flensburg University of Applied Sciences will offer a platform for networking, ...

Read more

Smart Sensors and Innovation Are th…

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG; AEX: PHIA) has announced the Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected, its latest innovation that uses Smart Sensor technology to help consu...

Read more

2016 Biomax Symposium: Bringing Big…

24 June 2016, Martinsried, Germany. Biomax announces the 2016 Biomax Symposium on "Bringing Big and Complex Data into Clinical Practice" that will take place in Martinsr...

Read more

The Social Life of Health Informati…

Most Americans go online for information and support about health-related issues. But what exactly are they looking for? Researchers at the University of California, Rive...

Read more

Startupbootcamp Digital Health Berl…

Startupbootcamp Digital Health Berlin, a business accelerator for early stage startups, announces a new partnership with Philips today. As a part of this partnership, f...

Read more

Digest Newsletter

Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter and stay updated on the latest eHealth News. Subscribe now, it's free!
© eHealthNews.eu 2006 - 2016