Magnetic resonance imaging

Published on December 27, 2010 Reviewed on April 12, 2022   23 min

A selection of talks on Methods

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My name is Sendhil Velan and I'm the Head of the Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Metabolic Imaging Group at Singapore Bioimaging Consortium, Singapore. In this lecture I'll be covering the basics of magnetic resonance imaging and localized magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
I would like to point out some of the important events in the field of magnetic resonance. In 1952, Felix Bloch and Edward Purcell received the Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing the first principles in nuclear induction. In 1991, Richard Ernst received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for important methodological developments within nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. He introduced the Fourier transform, and also demonstrated multidimensional NMR spectroscopy. In 2002, Kurt Wüthrich shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for extending NMR techniques for solving three-dimensional protein structures. Finally, in 2003, Paul Lauterbur and Sir Peter Mansfield received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for demonstrating spatial encoding of nuclear spins for achieving magnetic resonance imaging.
There are currently three types of MR scanners in use for different applications. We have the vertical bore magnets which have a typical bore size of 89 millimeters, that can perform high-resolution NMR of liquid-like samples and also high-resolution magic angle spinning (MAS) spectroscopy for solid-like samples. It can also perform micro-imaging of small mice in vivo and embryos with a high spatial resolution of a few microns. The second type of MR scanners are designed for small animal studies. The bore size ranges from 20 to 40 centimeters and can image mice, rats, rabbits and small monkeys. These scanners permit a spatial resolution of a few tens of microns. The third type of MR scanners are designed for human studies, bore sizes range between 50 to 70 centimeters and can image humans as well as large animals. These scanners permit a typical spatial resolution of few hundred microns.