MRI That Can See Bacteria, Virus and Proteins

Posted on January 28, 2009  Comments (3)

IBM team boosts MRI resolution

The researchers demonstrated this imaging at a resolution 100 million times finer than current MRI. The advance could lead to important medical applications and is powerful enough to see bacteria, viruses and proteins, say the researchers.

The researchers said it offered the ability to study complex 3D structures at the “nano” scale. The step forward was made possible by a technique called magnetic resonance force microscopy (MRFM), which relies on detecting very small magnetic forces.

In addition to its high resolution, MRFM has the further advantage that it is chemically specific, can “see” below surfaces and, unlike electron microscopy, does not destroy delicate biological materials.

Now, the IBM-led team has dramatically boosted the sensitivity of MRFM and combined it with an advanced 3D image reconstruction technique. This allowed them to demonstrate, for the first time, MRI on biological objects at the nanometre scale.

That is very cool.

Related: IBM Research Creates Microscope With 100 Million Times Finer Resolution Than Current MRIMagnetic Resonance Force Microscopy (from Stanford)Nanotechnology Breakthroughs for Computer ChipsSelf-assembling Nanotechnology in Chip ManufacturingNanoparticles to Aid Brain Imaging

3 Responses to “MRI That Can See Bacteria, Virus and Proteins”

  1. Ami
    February 3rd, 2009 @ 6:29 pm

    Hi. I have beemn in Medicine [ITU] for 7 years now and must say the increased availability and sensitivity of MRI scanners is pretty amazing. These machines can tell you if tissues are ischaemic or not eg HIE. pretty amazing

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Atomic Force Microscopy Image of a Molecule
    August 28th, 2009 @ 8:30 am

    […] MRI That Can See Bacteria, Virus and Proteins – images of the naphthalocyanine molecule in the ‘on’ and the ‘off’ state – […]

  3. Mariusz
    April 19th, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

    That’s amazing I was actually wondering from a long time if that is even possible, great job! I hope it will be also possible to look at the body processed in real time. But I need this technology NOW! to help understand and cure my fibromyalgia or whatever it is. Science until now understands very little, and technology like this will be a breakthrough in our understanding of chronic diseases

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