Navigation Links
Team creates MRI for the nanoscale
Date:2/13/2013

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) reveals details of living tissues, diseased organs and tumors inside the body without x-rays or surgery. What if the same technology could peer down to the level of atoms? Doctors could make visual diagnoses of a person's molecules examining damage on a strand of DNA, watching molecules misfold, or identifying a cancer cell by the proteins on its surface.

Now Dr. Carlos Meriles, associate professor of physics at The City College of New York, and an international team of researchers at the University of Stuttgart and elsewhere have opened the door for nanoscale MRI. They used tiny defects in diamonds to sense the magnetic resonance of molecules. They reported their results in the February 1 issue of Science.

"It is bringing MRI to a level comparable to an atomic force microscope," said Professor Meriles, referring to the device that traces the contours of atoms or tugs on a molecule to measure its strength. A nanoscale MRI could display how a molecule moves without touching it.

"Standard MRI typically gets to a resolution of 100 microns," about the width of a human hair, said Professor Meriles. "With extraordinary effort," he said, "it can get down to about 10 microns" the width of a couple of blood cells. Nanoscale MRI would have a resolution 1,000 to 10,000 times better.

To try to pick up magnetic resonance on such a small scale, the team took advantage of the spin of protons in an atom, a property usually used to investigate quantum computing. In particular, they used minute imperfections in diamonds.

Diamonds are crystals made up almost entirely of carbon atoms. When a nitrogen atom lodges next to a spot where a carbon atom is missing, however, it creates a defect known as a nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center.

"These imperfections turn out to have a spin like a little compass and have some remarkable properties," noted Professor Meriles. In the last few years, researchers realized that these NV centers could serve as very sensitive sensors. They can pick up the magnetic resonance of nearby atoms in a cell, for example. But unlike the atoms in a cell, the NVs shine when a light is directed at them, signaling what their spin is. If you illuminate it with green light it flashes red back.

"It is a form of what is called optically detected magnetic resonance," he said. Like a hiker flashing Morse code on a hillside, the sensor "sends back flashes to say it is alive and well."

"The NV can also be thought of as an atomic magnet. You can manipulate the spin of that atomic magnet just like you do with MRI by applying a radio frequency or radio pulses," Professor Meriles explained. The NV responds. Shine a green light at it when the spin is pointing up and it will respond with brighter red light. A down spin gives a dimmer red light.

Professor Mireles has written on the theoretical underpinnings of the work and proposed the the project to the team, led by Professor Jrg Wrachtrup a physicist at the University of Stuttgart in Germany with the assistance of postdoctoral researcher Friedemann Reinhard and collaborators from the University of Bochum and the University of Science and Technology of China. Professor Wrachtrup heads a leading group studying such defects.

In the lab, graduate student Tobias Staudacher the first author in this work used NVs that had been created just below the diamond's surface by bombarding it with nitrogen atoms. The team detected magnetic resonance within a film of organic material applied to the surface, just as one might examine a thin film of cells or tissue.

"Ultimately," said Professor Meriles, "One will use a nitrogen-vacancy mounted on the tip of an atomic force microscope or an array of NVs distributed on the diamond surface to allow a scanning view of a cell, for example, to probe nuclear spins with a resolution down to a nanometer or perhaps better."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jessa Netting
jnetting@ccny.cuny.edu
212-650-7615
City College of New York
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Australia creates worlds first continental-scale mineral maps
2. WSU/USDA scientist creates test, treatment for malaria-like sickness in horses
3. Rice, Texas Childrens team creates biocompatible patch to heal infants with birth defects
4. Protein creates paths for growing nerve cells
5. Nanoscale scaffolds and stem cells show promise in cartilage repair
6. Researchers develop method to grow artificial tissues with embedded nanoscale sensors
7. Engineering research centers awarded $55.5 million to innovate in nanoscale science and engineering
8. New NIH/NHGRI grants to harness nanoscale technologies to cut DNA sequencing costs
9. A nanoscale window to the biological world
10. Researchers create flexible, nanoscale bed of nails for possible drug delivery
11. Stem cell breakthrough could lead to new bone repair therapies on nanoscale surfaces
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Team creates MRI for the nanoscale
(Date:3/30/2017)... YORK , March 30, 2017 Trends, ... type (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris ... voice recognition, and others), by end use industry (government ... and immigration, financial and banking, and others), and by ... Europe , Asia Pacific , ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) has been ... (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 on the ... In addition, CHS previously earned a place in ... electronic medical record (EMR). "HIMSS Analytics ... EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  This recognition ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 The report "Gesture Recognition and ... Industry, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market ... CAGR of 29.63% between 2017 and 2022. Continue ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2017)... 2017  Pendant Biosciences, Inc. (formerly Nanoferix, Inc.), a ... drug delivery technologies, today announced that it has been ... Toronto . Shawn Glinter ... noted, "We are excited to become part of the ... are honored to be the first Tennessee ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... WonderWorks, Myrtle ... to showcase the future of deep space exploration and inspire space enthusiasts. The ... spacecraft and includes a guest appearance by former Shuttle Astronaut Don Thomas. , ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... new Bioflash MailGuardtm mail security screening solution at the National Postal Forum 2017 ... system provides a fast, highly accurate, easy to use and low cost threat ...
(Date:4/26/2017)...  Genisphere LLC, provider of the 3DNA ® ... and sponsored research agreement with the University of ... overall goal of the partnership is to study ... and formulations after in vivo administration. ... as well as inflammatory responses, demonstrating various methods ...
Breaking Biology Technology: