History of MRI

History of MRI.

MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging which uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create clear and detailed image of the human body. But when was this technology invented and who were the inventors? Along with many other imaging technologies such as ultrasound and X-ray, MRI is a fairly new technology. It all started in the 1930s when Felix Bloch from Stanford University and Edward Purcell from Harvard University invented a new physics technology is called nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in which atoms go through magnetic fields and radio waves that cause them to give off a tiny radio signal. Over the years, various scientists have taken that technology of NMR and created a similar technology called MRI. MRI was created on the basis of NMR. In the 1970s, Dr Raymond Damadian, a doctor and research scientist discovered how to use magnetic resonance imaging to see the images of the structure and functions of the human body. He discovered that it can be used to also diagnose patients with some forms of cancer, brain disease, and heart (cardiovascular) problems. He found out that cancerous signals in the body for example can emit signals longer than normal signals and therefore this way, you find those signals and treat cancer and other diseases. After getting his idea patented by the U.S Patent Office in 1974, three years later, he constructed the first ever MRI body scanning machine. Damadian motivated other scientists to study how MRI can be used to treat diseases and because of this motivation, over the past 3 decades, the MRI technology has been developing at a fast rate. In the early 1980s, the first MRI equipment was used in the medical field. In 2002, over 22,000 MRI cameras were put to use and over 60 million MRI examinations to treat diseases were performed on patients around the world. In the year of 2003, 26 years after Damadian constructed the first MRI body scanning machine, Paul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield won the Noble Prize in Physiology. Paul Lauterbur, a professor at the State University of New York further enhanced the MRI technology by conducting experiments and finding out how to create three-dimensional representation using the MRI scanner. Peter Mansfield of Nottingham, England showed how the signals could be used to create at a MRI image at an extremely fast rate. Currently in 2010, MRI has helped cure several heart and cancer-related diseases. Because of this wonderful technology, less people have died and maybe in the next 30-40 years, we may make magnetic resonance imaging so advanced that we can diagnose all the possible diseases out in the world.         

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