Two years ago the FDA issued the first clearance for a high-field MRI scanner, the Siemens MAGNETOM Terra. Featuring a 7 Tesla magnet, the device generates a magnetic field more than twice the strength of the 3 Tesla scanners that were previously the most powerful for clinical use.
Now, a team of researchers, headed by a group at Massachusetts General Hospital, has used the machine to scan a donated brain for nearly five days. The result is an incredible visualization of a complete brain at a resolution of almost .1 millimeter.
The scan required the development of a special container that can hold the organ still while allowing air bubbles, that can screw up the image, to escape.
While the scanned brain came from a deceased person, and living persons can’t undergo such a scan for a number of reasons, the technology nevertheless provides a great deal of information about the brain’s anatomy that would otherwise be exceedingly difficult to obtain.
Here’s a video of one of the perspectives from the scan:
Study in journal bioRxiv: 7 Tesla MRI of the ex vivo human brain at 100 micron resolution
(Hat tip: ScienceNews)