Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain.

 

Stephen Hawking

 

Tiny new sensor could simplify brain wave research

RATE THIS! +1
Posted in Science on 6th Jun, 2012 02:02 PM by AlexMuller

Two years ago, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. developed a tiny magnetic sensor that could detect the human heartbeat without touching the subject's skin. Now, the same team has improved the sensitivity of the device tenfold, making it capable of measuring human brain activity and becoming almost as sensitive - but much cheaper and easier to operate - than the best magnetometers available today.

 

Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is a noninvasive procedure that measures the magnetic fields generated by the brain. This helps neuroscientists understand perceptual and cognitive processes, map cerebral activity to help identify tumors in preparation for surgery, or even create better brain-computer interfaces.

 


The pictured NIST device would be just one in an array of the 32 required to perform an MEG. The devices are kept in place by a helmet (Image: NIST)


Today, the gold standard in MEG technology are superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs). But while extremely sensitive and effective, this technology isn't easy on the wallet. "Cooling to 4 degrees above absolute zero, which is required for current commercial SQUID-based systems, is very expensive and systems typically cost over US$1M," Dr. John Kitching told Gizmag.

 

This is where NIST's magnetometer comes in. By improving on their previous design, the researchers came up with a magnetic sensor the size of a sugar cube that is also cheaper to manufacture and can work at room temperature.

 

"Our sensors can be fabricated in parallel with techniques usually adopted for microelectronics," says Kitching. "Moreover, while SQUID-based imaging systems require a large magnetically-shielded room to operate, an imaging system based on our sensors could probably be operating in a much smaller (person-sized) shielded enclosure. These advantages will almost certainly make a potential imaging system less expensive to manufacture."

 



Read original article » Back to category

Comments



 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Science on 2017-05-24 15:12:39
    In 'Enormous Success,' Scientists Tie 52 Genes to Human.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-05-24 15:04:49
    Humans Accidentally Created a Protective Bubble Around Earth..read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-05-24 14:53:33
    Scientists say the pace of sea level rise has nearly.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-05-23 15:57:07
    Elon Musk's Neural Lace Could be an Injectable Thinking Cap..read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-05-23 15:52:35
    California Grid Smashes Record, Gets 67% of Energy From.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Nanoparticle vaccine shows potential as immunotherapy to fight.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Obesity is top cause of preventable life-years lost, study shows..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Light can be utilized to control gene function..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Brain stimulation restores memory during lapses, research shows..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Wax worm caterpillar will eat plastic shopping bags: New.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me