Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a great tool for diagnosing disease in different organs and tissues, but it can be costly and cumbersome. Now, engineers at the Boston University Photonics Center have developed a new device, small enough for a patient to wear inside the machine, that could boost the signal and provide higher-resolution images at lower magnetic strengths.
MRI may be safer than other imaging techniques like X-ray, but it’s still not the most pleasant experience. Patients have to lie perfectly still for an hour or more, as a loud and claustrophobic machine scans their body. The latest MRI machines crank up the power of the magnetic field to get higher-resolution images, but that stronger field can interfere with things outside the machine itself.