Editor's Summary

19 February 2009

Travelling-wave NMR


Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are widely used in the sciences and medicine. Although the implementation details differ from application to application, the underlying detection principle is the same: the need for intimate coupling (and hence usually close proximity) between nuclear magnetization in the sample and the detector. Brunner et al. show that it is possible to abandon this traditional detection principle, and that the nuclear magnetization signal can be excited and detected by long-range interaction using travelling radiofrequency waves sent and received by an antenna. This approach offers more uniform coverage of larger samples. And by freeing up space in the centre of the costly high-field magnets needed for MRI, it could potentially make the imaging experience more comfortable for human subjects.

News and ViewsMedical imaging: MRI rides the wave

An innovative approach for exciting and detecting signals in magnetic resonance imaging not only improves image quality but also enables radical changes in scanner design by freeing up space around the patient.

Paul Glover & Richard Bowtell

doi:10.1038/457971a

LetterTravelling-wave nuclear magnetic resonance

David O. Brunner, Nicola De Zanche, Jürg Fröhlich, Jan Paska & Klaas P. Pruessmann

doi:10.1038/nature07752