A team of scientists working at the Institute for Biomedical Engineering in association with University of Zurich and ETH Zurich successfully developed a very sensitive sensor that is capable of detecting minute level changes in very intense magnetic fields. This discovery is expected to make a key difference to medicinal and several other associated areas. The team has been successful in scaling small charges in intense magnetic fields with utmost precision that wasn’t registered till date. The experiments that were held included magnetization of a water droplet inside a MRI scanner, a specific device employed for medical imaging. These researchers were then able to detect even the smallest level variations in the strength of magnetic field inside the droplet. The modifications they noticed went up to almost one trillion times smaller level as are noted in seven Tesla field strength of an MRI scanner used in that experiment.
Klaas Prussmann, the ETH Zurich’s Bioimaging professor says, “Until now, it was possible only to measure such small variations in weak magnetic fields.” One of the best examples of a weak magnetic field is earth, its intensity amounts to be just a few dozen microteslas. For these kinds of fields, there are several highly sensitive measurement techniques that are into play and are capable to notice variations up to a trillionth level. Prussmann further adds, “Now, we have a similarly sensitive method for strong fields of more than one tesla, such as those used, inter alia, in in medical imaging.”
These new technique has been derived from nuclear magnetic resonance principle that has also served as a basis for MRIs as well as some spectroscopic methods used by biologists for elucidating 3D structure of molecules. Nevertheless, for scaling the alterations the team created a new high-precision sensor which is constituted by a very sensitive digital radio sensor. Semis Gross, the man who wrote his doctoral thesis in this group and is also the lead author of this paper, says, “This allows us to reduce background noise to an extremely low level during the measurements.”
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