Aerospace & Defense

Portable MRI Could Aid Wounded Soldiers and Children in the Third World

Hospital-based MRI devices are large and expensive, require considerable infrastructure, and they typically use a large amount of energy. Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory wanted to see if images of sufficient quality could be made with ultra-low-magnetic fields, similar in strength to the Earth's magnetic field. To achieve images at such low fields they use extremely sensitive detectors called Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices, or SQUIDs. The team is developing an ultra-low-field MRI system that could be low-power and lightweight enough for deployment on the battlefield and to field hospitals in the world's poorest regions.