If a theory about detecting extremely faint electrical signals by means of a nanomechanical loudspeaker can be shown to work in experiments, it could result in much simpler MRI procedures, reports Nanowerk News.
A team of physicists from the Joint Quantum Institute and Harvard University in the United States and the Neils Bohr Institute in Denmark has described coupling a nanomechanical membrane to an electrical circuit so that even a very faint electrical signal will cause the membrane to quiver slightly. The signal is then read by bouncing photons off the membrane and measuring the modulation of the reflected light. If the theory holds, it could lead to a significant reduction in the strength and size of MRI magnets.
A paper on the theory is published in Physical Review Letters.Norbert Sparrow