Bizarre-seeking Helmet Can Create Greater Brain Scans

February 11, 2022 — It might seem like a strange bicycle helmet, or a piece of equipment found in Doc Brown’s lab in Again to the Foreseeable future, yet this gadget designed of plastic and copper wire is a technological breakthrough with the likely to revolutionize medical imaging. In spite of its playful look, the product is really a metamaterial, packing in a ton of physics, engineering and mathematical know-how. 

It was formulated by Xin Zhang, a School of Engineering professor of mechanical engineering, and her workforce of scientists at BU’s Photonics Center. They’re authorities in metamaterials, a form of engineered structure designed from little unit cells that may well be unspectacular alone, but when grouped with each other in a precise way, get new superpowers not identified in mother nature. Metamaterials, for occasion, can bend, take up, or manipulate waves—such as electromagnetic waves, seem waves, or radio waves. Just about every device mobile, also termed a resonator, is normally arranged in a repeating pattern in rows and columns they can be intended in different measurements and designs, and positioned at different orientations, depending on which waves they are made to influence. 

Metamaterials can have several novel functions. Zhang, who is also a professor of electrical and personal computer engineering, biomedical engineering, and components science and engineering, has designed an acoustic metamaterial that blocks seem without the need of halting airflow (envision quieter jet engines and air conditioners) and a magnetic metamaterial that can increase the excellent of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines used for healthcare diagnosis. 

Now, Zhang and her group have taken their work a move additional with the wearable metamaterial. The dome-shaped machine, which suits around a person’s head and can be worn during a brain scan, boosts MRI effectiveness, developing crisper pictures that can be captured at 2 times the normal pace. 

metamateral brain MRI

The helmet is fashioned from a sequence of magnetic metamaterial resonators, which are built from 3D-printed plastic tubes wrapped in copper wiring, grouped on an array, and specifically arranged to channel the magnetic area of the MRI device. Placing the magnetic metamaterial—in helmet sort or as the originally made flat array—near the portion of the overall body to be scanned, claims Zhang, could make MRIs considerably less high-priced and more time successful for physicians, radiologists, and patients—all even though increasing picture good quality.

At some point, the magnetic metamaterial has the possible to be applied in conjunction with less costly small-field MRI machines to make the technologies more commonly obtainable, significantly in the creating earth. 

For far more details:

Look at the online video