Redesigned Systems May Increase Access to MRI for Patients with Implanted Medical Devices

It is estimated that around 300,000 patients worldwide are prevented from receiving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) each year because they have implanted devices like pacemakers and deep brain stimulation implants. Now researchers at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Mass General may have found a solution.

By redesigning the wires that carry signals between implanted devices and their targeted structures in the body, researchers were able to significantly reduce the amount of heat that is generated when the wires are exposed to the radiofrequency energy used in MRIs.

The heat generated during a traditional MRI screening can damage the tissue surrounding the implant. The redesigned wires use polymers similar to those found in stealth technology to diffuse the heat. Dr. Giorgio Bonmassar of the Martinos Center is the corresponding author of the study. Dr. Emad Eskander of the Mass General Neurology Department provided clinical support.

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