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Sunday, March 25, 2012

New MRI Technique Visualizes Phosphorus, Opens Potential for Hard Tissue Imaging

The image here shows the interior
spongy bone of a rabbit femoral head,
or the "ball" of the rabbit's hip bone.
Conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) relies on aligning the magnetization of hydrogen atoms in a study sample, which makes it an excellent tool for visualizing water-rich materials like soft tissues and organs.

Yet MRI is not fundamentally limited to focusing on hydrogen atoms, and scientists at Yale have developed a new approach that allows them to visualize phosphorus, opening a way to look into hard tissues like bone.  The imaging technology may take some time finding use in clinical practice though, because the process creates too much heat for live tissue to survive.  We’re speculating that perhaps it may instead serve as a safer option over therapeutic radiation. MedGadget

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