A team of scientists from NYU School of Medicine in the U.S. has developed a glove-shaped MRI component which has shown the first clear images of bones, ligaments and tendons moving together.
The researchers believe the MRI glove could prove to be useful in the future diagnosis of repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Because the new glove can show how different tissue types influence each other as they move, the team says it could also help construct a more adaptable map of hand anatomy, guide surgery in more realistic positions, or help design better prosthetics.
“Our results represent the first demonstration of an MRI technology that is both flexible and sensitive enough to capture the complexity of soft-tissue mechanics in the hand,” says lead author Bei Zhang, PhD, research scientist at the Center for Advanced Imaging Innovation and Research (CAI2R) at NYU, in a press release.
MRI (Magnetic Imaging Resonance) works by immersing tissues in a magnetic field so that any hydrogen atom present align to generate an average magnetic force in one direction in each tissue slice. These tiny magnets can be moved out of equilibrium by radio waves where they start to spin like tops and release radio signals indicating their position, which can be rebuilt into an image.
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