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News about the 9.4 Tesla Project

Insight into the human brain – completely without anaesthesia and scalpel, but more detailed than ever before: at the Jülich Institute of Neurosciences and Biophysics, an internationally unique device will begin operation in 2009: a 9.4-tesla magnetic resonance tomograph (MRT) combined with a positron emission tomograph (PET).

9.4 Tesla MR-PET ScannerDevelopers of the device invented a new technology known as avalanche photodiodes, which allows MRI and PET techniques to be combined.

With this combined device, scientists will develop new techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of neurological brain diseases. In fact, it delivers images of the human brain of previously unobtainable precision. The reason for this is the magnetic field of the MRT. With a field strength of 9.4 tesla, it is up to six times higher than that of usual devices – and 190,000 times higher than the magnetic field of the Earth.

Combination of MRT and PET

Simultaneous MR-PETleft: MRI, right: PET, centre: combination of both

It is the combination of magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) and positron emission tomography (PET) merged in this so far unique device which opens up new perspectives for researchers. The MRT technique simulates the tissue of the brain. The simultaneous PET analysis makes the metabolism in the cells visible by means of a very weak radioactive substance. "9komma4" combines both.