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New scanning technology developed in £7M research center
Date:7/1/2010

The development of a new magnetic resonance imaging technology that could revolutionise the way medical conditions are diagnosed and treated is to take a major step forward as a 7m research centre is established at the University of York.

Hyperpolarisation with parahydrogen is a technique developed at the University that can dramatically increase the sensitivity of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the scanning technology widely used in hospitals.

It is hoped hyperpolarisation will eventually be used to help doctors make diagnoses in minutes that currently take days and tailor treatments more accurately to the needs of individual patients.

The research team, led by Professors Simon Duckett and Gary Green, of the Departments of Chemistry and Psychology respectively, has secured a 4.36m grant from the Wellcome Trust and Wolfson Foundation, as well as financial support from industrial partners and the University, to build the York Centre for Hyperpolarisation in Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Professor Duckett said: "Although MRI is already an incredibly useful technique its sensitivity is in fact very low, rather like finding a needle in a haystack, which makes it difficult to detect the early stages of disease. It can also be very slow, limiting the way MRI is used in clinical settings."

Professor Green added: "The success of the early stages of developing hyperpolarisation to improve the sensitivity and speed of imaging suggests this technique has huge potential to improve the treatment received by patients with a wide range of medical conditions."

The York Centre for Hyperpolarisation will bring together researchers from across the Departments of Chemistry, Psychology, the Hull York Medical School and Biology to develop this technology. The team will also be working with Professor Jrgen Hennig of the University Hospital Freiburg, one of the world's leading experts in the medical application of MRI technology.


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Contact: David Garner
dcg501@york.ac.uk
44-190-443-2153
University of York
Source:Eurekalert

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