Canada Research Chair in Medical Physics
Tier 2 - 2003-06-01
Natural Sciences and Engineering
519-661-2111 ext./poste 86455
Coming to Canada from
Stanford University, USA
Developing new hardware systems and techniques for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
The research will lead to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools.
Seeing through the Problems of MRIs
We hear about it all the time. A favourite hockey player is having his knee scanned to determine if he will be back, or a friend or relative is having an MRI. The technology uses magnetic fields to create high-resolution images of the human body. The power of MRI lies in its ability to form images that highlight damaged and diseased tissues without exposing the body to harmful radiation in the process.
MRIs are, however, expensive; difficult to obtain, install and maintain; and cumbersome to use. MRIs are large, loud machines whose magnetic properties make the simultaneous operation of other equipment virtually impossible.
Dr. Blaine A. Chronik, Canada Research Chair in Medical Physics at The University of Western Ontario, is working to address these issues. Through his research efforts, he is looking to develop new kinds of MRI systems intended to solve some of MRI’s historic problems. Chronik has taken an innovative approach by replacing the large, static magnetic fields of a normal MRI scanner with several dynamic magnetic fields. This renders an MRI system virtually silent.
Chronik is also working on what may be the most advanced medical imaging systems ever developed, by physically combining MRI with other modalities such as an X-ray computed tomography (a “CAT scan”) into a single “super-scanner.” The fundamental idea behind this is that the combination of several imaging modalities will offer significant advantages over using any single one on its own.