With a 110-ton magnet, Scientists at the University of Minnesota have become the first in the world to perform magnetic resonance imaging of the human body at 10.5 Tesla—a magnetic field strength 10 times greater than a standard MRI.
Researchers at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research successfully conducted the first scans with the center’s 10.5-Tesla, whole-body imaging magnet. The 110-ton magnet promises to produce scans at a finer level of detail, bringing new capabilities to scientists studying how the body works.
The project was first conceived of in 2008, and the team then spent years preparing the magnet for operation, including cooling the conductors below liquid Helium temperature (2.6 Kelvin or about -455 degrees Fahrenheit/-270 degrees Celsius), configuring its complex electronics, and conducting animal studies to ensure safety for human use.
“This is an instrument with which we want to push the boundaries of imaging brain function,” said Dr Kamil Ugurbil, director.
While the magnet is capable of imaging the entire body, a major focus is on the brain.
Going forward, the CMRR team will further develop the capabilities of the 10.5-Tesla magnet and its supporting hardware.
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