A new MRI design, developed by University of Zurich scientists, intends to improve scanning and also make the MRI procedure less claustrophic.
They described a simple change to MRI machines that may provide better coverage at higher powers while also leaving more room for the patient.
Traditional MRI scans require patients to be placed closer to the radio frequency coils, which deliver the magnetic waves, in the scanning tube that also results in a claustrophobic feel for patients.
In the new study, David Brunner, a physicist at the University of Zurich, have replaced the coils with an antenna placed up to 9.8 feet (3 meters) away from a patient, thus making more room.
The antenna transmits and receives the radio frequency waves, which are focused by a special conductive lining inside the MRI scanning tube.
The extra room "will usually be on the order of 15-20 centimetres [6-8 inches] in diameter, which really is a lot in terms of patient comfort," National Geographic quoted study co-author Klaas Pruessmann, as saying.
Moreover, the 'travelling waves' transmitted by the antenna would help more uniform coverage of large body parts and gain deeper insights.
Pruessmann said that the technology "is currently being explored in centres around the world, including many in the U.S., and early pre-clinical applications look very promising."
Peter Bornert, principal scientist at Philips Research Europe in Hamburg, Germany, called the new approach "very promising from a scientific point of view."
The findings are published in journal Nature.