Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Optical Sensors Make MRI Scans Safer

Date:
September 20, 2008
Source:
ICT Results
Summary:
Magnetic resonance scans will be safer for children and other patients needing anaesthesia, thanks to new kinds of optical sensors.

Magnetic resonance scans will be safer for children and other patients needing anaesthesia, thanks to new kinds of optical sensors developed by a team of European researchers.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a powerful, non-invasive way of obtaining detailed internal images of the human body. Unlike x-rays, MRI does not use ionising radiation but probes the inside of the body with strong magnetic fields. It has become an indispensable aid to diagnosis and treatment.

But for some people, the experience of MRI can be upsetting. The patient must lie motionless for as much as an hour or more within the tunnel of the MRI machine. Children, especially, can find the experience frightening and the solution is to calm them with sedative or anaesthetic drugs.

“Anaesthesia for MRI examination uses the same drugs as anaesthesia for any surgical procedure,” says Dr Mathieu Jeanne of the Centre Hospitalier Rιgional Universitaire de Lille, one of the partners in the OFSETH project. “Even if spontaneous respiration can be preserved most of the time during anaesthesia, it is constantly at risk of being impaired by anaesthetic drugs or by upper airway obstruction.”

As the anaesthetist cannot accompany the patient, it is essential that the patient be monitored remotely from the neighbouring control room. Unfortunately, the magnetic fields can interfere with electrical equipment, meaning that conventional electronic sensors cannot be used while patients are having their scan. There is also a risk of burns from electric currents induced in metal components by the strong magnetic field.

Optical solution

One solution, being pursued by the EU-funded OFSETH project, is to use optical sensors and optical fibres. With no metal parts, optical sensors transmit information in the form of light pulses and are not affected by magnetic fields.

OFSETH is developing wearable textiles that incorporate optical monitoring systems. The partners are concentrating on systems suitable for children between 1 and 5 years old that will monitor breathing, heart rate and the amount of oxygen in the blood.

“The light-guiding properties of an optical fibre can change depending on its surrounding environment,” explains Dr Franηois Narbonneau of Multitel, an independent research centre based in Mons which is coordinating the project. “By measuring the constraints applied to an optical fibre or by analysing modifications of the signal properties transmitted in an optical fibre, it is possible to measure a lot of parameters.”

Optical fibres are sensitive to being bent or stretched as this affects the amount of light they transmit. To monitor breathing, the researchers wove a plastic optical fibre into an elastic bandage to be placed around the chest or abdomen. It expands and contracts as the patient breathes and two types of sensor detect the strains in the fibre and so monitor the breathing rate.

The team have also designed a non-invasive blood oxygen sensor that compares the absorption of red and infrared light to gauge how much oxygen is present in the blood. The sensor fits on a finger-tip and detects reflected light from the skin. It measures pulse rate as well.

Although other non-electronic devices can be used to measure vital functions, they can be cumbersome and expensive. And while optical technology is already in use for MRI monitoring, the patient often needs to be switched between two or three different systems as they are moved between different parts of the hospital.

Woven into textiles

The system developed by OFSETH avoids the need for such changes by incorporating the sensors into a garment worn by the patient. Plastic optical fibres are particularly suitable for such applications as they can be woven into the fabric.

“The main innovation is to use optical fibre sensors embedded into textile during the fabrication process for medical applications,” says Narbonneau. “The key idea is to provide a garment which allows monitoring of the patient from arrival at the hospital until departure without changing or disconnecting the monitoring system.”

All the hardware components are now ready and the next phase is to integrate them into a prototype garment which will then be tested in clinical trials. The project is due to finish in August 2009.

The ten partners contributed their expertise on healthcare, optical sensing and textile technology to make the project a reality. The lessons learned can be applied to a much wider range of applications. For example, the team is already planning to use the same sensors to create baby clothes that can be used at home to guard against sudden ‘cot deaths’.

OFSETH is part of SFIT, a cluster of projects to develop ‘smart’ textiles supported by the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme for research. ICT Results will publish in coming weeks a special series of features associated with the SFIT cluster.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by ICT Results. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

ICT Results. "Optical Sensors Make MRI Scans Safer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080918091609.htm>.
ICT Results. (2008, September 20). Optical Sensors Make MRI Scans Safer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080918091609.htm
ICT Results. "Optical Sensors Make MRI Scans Safer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080918091609.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) — TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) — Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) — When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) — 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:  

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile iPhone Android Web
          Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins