Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > MRI Zooms in on Microscopic Flow

Remotely detected MRI images show water flowing through a constricted microfluidic channel. Each image is a ‘snapshot’ of the flow at a given time of flight, and the images are shown as two-dimensional projections of the YZ (top) and XZ (lower) planes, where the constriction is in Y and the overall flow along Z. (Image courtesy of Pines group)
Remotely detected MRI images show water flowing through a constricted microfluidic channel. Each image is a ‘snapshot’ of the flow at a given time of flight, and the images are shown as two-dimensional projections of the YZ (top) and XZ (lower) planes, where the constriction is in Y and the overall flow along Z. (Image courtesy of Pines group)

Abstract:
"Better and faster results!" is the clarion call for scientists and engineers to continually strive to improve their research tools. Of the tools used to study material structures at the atomic and molecular scales, there is none finer than Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and its daughter technology Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Now, the latest development from the research group of one of the word's foremost authorities on NMR/MRI technology promises NMR/MRI results that are better and faster than ever before - a million times faster!

MRI Zooms in on Microscopic Flow

Berkeley, CA | Posted on October 8th, 2010

Through a combination of remote instrumentation, JPEG-style image compression algorithms and other key enhancements, chemist Alexander Pines and members of his research group have been able to use NMR/MRI to image materials flowing through microfluidic "lab-on-a-chip" devices and zoom in on microscopic objects of particular interest with unprecedented spatial and time resolutions. Pines holds joint appointments with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) at Berkeley.

"What excites me most about this new methodology is the possibility of a mobile, chip-based NMR/MRI platform for microfluidic analysis. Who knows? This might turn out to be useful for chemistry and biomedicine," says Pines, an internationally recognized leader in the development of NMR technology, who is a faculty senior scientist in Berkeley Lab's Materials Sciences Division and the Glenn T. Seaborg Professor of Chemistry at UC Berkeley

This latest work, which focused on MRI, has been reported in the journal Science in a paper titled "Zooming in on Microscopic Flow by Remotely Detected MRI." Co-authoring the paper with Pines were Vikram Bajaj, who is still a member of the Pines' group, plus Jeffrey Paulsen, now of Schlumberger-Doll Research, and Elad Harel, now at the University of Chicago.

Says Bajaj, first author on the Science paper, "We have been able to conclusively demonstrate the ability to record microscopic images of flowing macroscopic objects without loss of sensitivity, something that is impossible in conventional MRI. We were also able to illustrate how MRI can be used to measure flow dynamics quantitatively and with high spatial resolution in real microfluidic devices. The spatial resolution we achieved is sufficient to capture the results of hundreds or thousands of parallel assays on a microfluidic device. Furthermore, we recorded these images approximately one million times faster than could be done with a conventional MRI experiment. This means that experiments which would have taken years to complete are now practical considerations."

NMR/MRI signals are made possible by a property found in the atomic nuclei of almost all molecules called "spin," which makes the nuclei act as if they were bar magnets. Obtaining an NMR/MRI signal depends upon an excess of nuclei in a sample with spins pointing either "north" or "south." In the signal-encoding phase of NMR/MRI, the nuclei are exposed to a magnetic field and subjected to radiofrequency pulses so that they absorb and re-emit energy at signature frequencies. In the signal-detection phase of NMR/MRI, the frequencies of the encoded signals are either directly measured to obtain a spectrum (NMR), or used to obtain a second, spatially encoded signal that can then be translated into images (MRI).

MRI has become a staple of modern medicine, providing physicians with a diagnostic tool that is noninvasive, quick, and involves no ionizing radiation that can damage cells and tissue. However, conventional MRI requires huge doughnut-shaped machines that fill an entire room and are extremely expensive to purchase and operate. In recent years, Pines and his group have taken great strides towards making NMR/MRI technology compact, portable and relatively inexpensive. It started with the decoupling of the NMR/MRI signal encoding and signal detection processes, which made remote NMR/MRI possible and opened the technology to lab-on-a-chip microfluidic assays of gases and liquids. With these new developments, Pines and his group have laid the foundation for new NMR/MRI applications in portable chemical and biomedical analysis.

"Our goal is to develop NMR/MRI appliances for portable chemical analysis of complex mixtures, including blood, urine, and saliva," Bajaj says. "Ultimately, we would like to make it possible to use NMR/MRI in point of care clinical analysis."

In their new Science paper, Pines and Bajaj and their co-authors describe how they were able to apply MRI technology to studies involving microscopic flow through microfluidic or biological channels, or through porous materials. The key was the integration of several new elements into their remote NMR/MRI configuration. This included the fabrication of microsolenoid MRI probes with demountable microfluidic device holders, the design of remote MRI sequences for spatial encoding in the presence of motion, as well as for velocimetric measurements, and the use of JPEG-style compressive sampling algorithms for accelerated image encoding.

"The combination of remote NMR/MRI methods with these new elements spectroscopically mimics the implantation of a coil around a microscopic feature of interest and allows us to zoom in on the microscopic details of microfluidic flow dynamics in three spatial dimensions," says Bajaj. "The mechanism of remote detection is analogous to that of a magnetic recording tape on which complex data are first encoded and later read out by a single stationary detector as the tape advances."

This work is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science, and by a gift from the Agilent Technologies Foundation.

For more information about the research of Alexander Pines and his group, visit the Web at waugh.qb3.berkeley.edu/

####

About Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Berkeley Lab is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research for DOE’s Office of Science and is managed by the University of California. Visit our Website at www.lbl.gov/

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Lynn Yarris (510)
486-5375

Copyright © Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Surfing a wake of light: Researchers observe and control light wakes for the first time July 6th, 2015

Tel Aviv/Tsinghua University project uses crowd computing to improve water filtration: The research, a product of the new TAU-Tsinghua XIN Center, was conducted by 150,000 volunteers at IBM's World Community Grid July 6th, 2015

Transition from 3 to 2 dimensions increases conduction, MIPT scientists discover July 6th, 2015

A Stretchy Mesh Heater for Sore Muscles July 6th, 2015

Microfluidics/Nanofluidics

Lehigh University researchers unveil engineering innovations at TechConnect 2015: TechConnect is the world's largest accelerator for industry-vetted emerging-technologies ready for commercialization June 11th, 2015

How to cut a vortex into slices: A group of physicists, lead by Olga Vinogradova, professor at the Lomonosov Moscow State University, came up with a way to stir up a liquid in the microchannel June 3rd, 2015

What makes cancer cells spread? New device offers clues May 19th, 2015

Microchip captures clusters of circulating tumor cells -- NIH study May 18th, 2015

Possible Futures

BBC World Service to broadcast Forum discussion on graphene July 6th, 2015

Groundbreaking research to help control liquids at micro and nano scales July 3rd, 2015

Harris & Harris Group Portfolio Company D-Wave Systems Announces 1,000 Qubit Processor and is Discussed in the Economist June 23rd, 2015

Global Nanoclays Market Analysis, Size, Growth, Trends And Segment Forecasts, 2015 To 2022: Grand View Research, Inc June 15th, 2015

Announcements

Surfing a wake of light: Researchers observe and control light wakes for the first time July 6th, 2015

Tel Aviv/Tsinghua University project uses crowd computing to improve water filtration: The research, a product of the new TAU-Tsinghua XIN Center, was conducted by 150,000 volunteers at IBM's World Community Grid July 6th, 2015

Transition from 3 to 2 dimensions increases conduction, MIPT scientists discover July 6th, 2015

A Stretchy Mesh Heater for Sore Muscles July 6th, 2015

Tools

A 'movie' of ultrafast rotating molecules at a hundred billion per second: A quantum wave-like nature was successfully observed in rotating nitrogen molecules July 4th, 2015

Clues to inner atomic life from subtle light-emission shifts: Hyperfine structure of light absorption by short-lived cadmium atom isotopes reveals characteristics of the nucleus that matter for high precision detection methods July 3rd, 2015

Nanometrics to Announce Second Quarter Financial Results on July 23, 2015 July 2nd, 2015

Ultra-stable JILA microscopy technique tracks tiny objects for hours July 1st, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project