The EU has demonstrated a form of medical imaging technology that can magnify 100 000 times closer using the power of quantum physics.
The best MRIs available us today cannot detect molecular and metabolic activity in the heart with enough sensitivity and accuracy, However that could all change with MetabolIQs hyperpolarized MRI which increases sensitivity of medical imaging up to five orders of magnitude. The project is part of the larger “Quantum Flagship” program started by the European Union this month.
What they are now calling “hyperpolarized magnetic resonance imaging” essentially utilizes the power of quantum entanglement to superpower magnification by several orders of magnitude. The core is composed of a network of entangled nitrogen vacancies inside of a diamond crystalline insulator cooled to temperatures nearing absolute zero (-270 degrees c).
Due to the extremely small nature of the quantum scale this network of entangled particles allow for a degree of sensitivity and information density that is simply unrivaled by any form of modern technology. Not only does this help us create quantum computers that could eventually surpass some of the worlds most powerful supercomputers by several orders of magnitude but it turns out that we can use the same principles to improve medical diagnostic technology.
With that being said, quantum technology is still really expensive – unfortunately it requires extreme conditions that take a lot of energy to produce and maintain. Furthermore, entanglement is both sensitive and difficult to produce, sometimes taking many several thousands of attempts.
However, this new kind of Magnetic Resonance Imager they are calling a “Hyperpolarized MRI” is capable of magnifying 100 000 times closer then our current imaging technology. This will be close enough to observe key metabolic layers in the heart and other organs by detecting subtle differences in a cell membranes electrical conductivity we will finally be able to diagnose exactly what kind of treatments people need for cardiovascular disease instead of going through a lengthy period of a trial and error.
Since cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the world this procedure could potenteially save millions of lives each year.
The program started this October and will continue until late 2021.
It’s funded by the European Unions Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.