Our research aims to develop new types of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner, in order to provide earlier, more reliable diagnosis and better monitoring of responses to treatment. The team is led by Professor David Lurie, who has more than 30 years’ experience of research in MRI.
In recent years the team’s research has focussed on a radically new kind of MRI scanner, called "Fast Field-Cycling MRI" (FFC-MRI). It differs from standard MRI in that the FFC-MRI scanner’s magnet (the doughnut-shaped heart of any MRI scanner) is switched rapidly to many different strengths of magnetic field, while the patient is inside the scanner. This is, in effect, like having 100 or more MRI scanners in one device, each with a different magnetic field. It allows us to measure the way in which the magnetic properties of a patient’s organs and tissues change according to the magnetic field, providing "signatures" or markers of disease that are invisible to standard MRI scanners.
The team has built two prototype human-sized FFC-MRI scanners (the only ones in the world). Working with local biomedical scientists and medical doctors, they have already been able to show that the new information obtained by FFC-MRI is potentially useful, and that the technique could benefit patients in the future.
Please visit the FFC-MRI group’s web pages to find out more about FFC-MRI.
Professor David Lurie explains the history of MRI at the University of Aberdeen and gives insight into the development of Fast Field Cycling (FFC) MRI.