Brain scanning is a rather multidimensional and not always quick task, which, moreover, requires the patient to be in the most stationary state. However, a team of engineers from the University of Nottingham decided on a very interesting and very successful experiment in the development of a new type of magnetoencephalographic brain scanner, attached directly to the surface of the skull and operating wirelessly, which allows the patient to move around and go about their business quietly while the process is in progress taking images from magnetic fields formed due to electrical discharges between brain cells.
In their article in the scientific journal Nature, the development team pointed out that creating such a lightweight prototype required a lot of time and energy, and they also had to look for a new 3D printing method that would be compatible with installing special sensors on this scanner. Representing a kind of helmet, this brain activity scanner is equipped with improved quantum sensors, which for their full work do not require any additional equipment.
In particular, they don’t need to work in a supercooled state, as happens with standard magnetoencephalogic scanners of the brain – which made it possible to significantly reduce the weight of the device and make it much more compact. In addition, these quantum sensors have much higher accuracy, registering much more areas of brain activity, which further enhances the scanner efficiency.
The ability to move freely during the scanning process is really a great achievement, since the process of magnetic encephalography often causes significant problems in children and elderly people who find it difficult to remain motionless for a long time. In addition, the development and implementation of this type of technology will significantly facilitate the brain scanning process for patients suffering from various types of tremors or diseases such as Parkinson's disease.