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Scans that are 64 million times clearer give a new look at the brain

Published in Brain/Neurology, Scanners and Imaging.

Fifty years on from American chemist Pal Laterbur detailing the first magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), scientists have marked this historic medical anniversary with the sharpest-ever scans of a mouse brain.

Nearly 40 decades in the making, researchers from Duke University’s Center for In Vivo Microscopy, along with scientists from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh and Indiana University, have produced MRI visuals 64 million times sharper than current technology offers.

This MRI was able to capture images in such detail that each voxel – the 3D version of a pixel – measured just 5 microns, or five-thousandth of a millimeter. What this means is that while current MRI technology is advanced enough to spot a brain tumor, for example, this sort of clear picture can take things a step further and display organization and far more detailed connectivity.

The MRI was able to capture incredible images of circuitry data throughout the mouse brain, as shown in the video below.