A mini MRI scanner fits around the patient’s leg to diagnose knee injuries with the help of a ‘magic angle.’
The scanner was developed at Imperial College London to offer a more effective way to image tendons, ligaments and meniscus in the knees. Still in the prototype phase, the device takes advantage of the ‘magic angle’ phenomenon, which causes the brightness of tissues such as tendons in MRI images to vary based on the angle between the collagen fibers and the scanner’s magnetic field. Since the small mini MRI fits around the patient’s leg, the team can easily change the orientation of the magnetic field to achieve the best image. In addition to better imaging, the prototype mini-MRI is also much less expensive than current devices and small enough to fit in local clinics.