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Researchers develop technique to boost MRI imaging speed

An international team of scientists led by the University of Minnesota and Advanced MRI Technologies of California has discovered a way to produce magnetic resonance images of the brain at speeds dramatically faster than previously possible.

The new technique, which multiplies data acquisition, works on all modern MRI scanners, so it can be used immediately at research institutions worldwide.

“This new technique is a very fundamental step forward and — down the road — will impact human body imaging as well,” says Kamil Ugurbil, Ph.D., director of the University’s Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR).

Investigators from the University of Minnesota; University of California, Berkeley; Washington University; and Oxford University collaborated on the study. The work was facilitated and supported by the Human Connectome Project, a National Institutes of Health- funded effort to use MRI scans to map the connections of the human brain.

The faster imaging, coupled with the CMRR’s high-powered, ultra-high-field magnet capabilities, will give researchers unprecedented looks at the human brain, predicts Ugurbil, who also is coprincipal investigator of the Wash U-UMinn Human Connectome Project consortium.

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