facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

New brain scanner might save babies' lives

Dec. 19, 2005 at 5:44 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- University College London scientists are developing a portable brain scanner that could save the lives of newborn babies.

By providing information about the brain function of premature and newborn infants in intensive care, the scanner negates the need to move critically ill babies to conventional scanning facilities, which has a degree of risk.

A prototype using the advantages of magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound, while avoiding their disadvantages, incorporates a technique called optical tomography to generate images.

A helmet incorporating 32 light detectors and 32 sources of safe, low-intensity laser light is placed on a baby's head. The sources produce short flashes and the detectors measure the time the light takes to travel. A software package builds a 3D image that can show which parts of the brain are receiving oxygen, where blood is situated, evidence of brain damage, etc.

The prototype is the size of a refrigerator and takes around 8 minutes to generate an image. The scientists are now trying produce a version half that size and five times faster.

© 2005 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Social network Ello getting thousands of requests per hour Social network Ello getting thousands of requests per hour
2
NASA photos show Aral Sea is now just a sliver NASA photos show Aral Sea is now just a sliver
3
Mount St. Helens shows signs of awakening Mount St. Helens shows signs of awakening
4
Apple releases fix for 'Shellshock' virus Apple releases fix for 'Shellshock' virus
5
Windows 9 expected to be previewed Tuesday after leaks get the jump on Microsoft Windows 9 expected to be previewed Tuesday after leaks get the jump on Microsoft
Trending News
x
Feedback