Duke Physics Colloquium: Revisiting Decades-Old Physics to Improve Modern Molecular Imaging

"Revisiting Decades-Old Physics to Improve Modern Molecular Imaging" Molecular imaging-the use of chemical signatures to image function instead of merely structure-promises to enable a new generation of clinical modalities that can revolutionize both diagnosis and treatment. I will focus on two specific modalities-magnetic resonance and optical imaging-and discuss how a close coupling between basic physics on the one hand, and focused clinical questions on the other hand, enable new and important applications. In magnetic resonance, one of the most startling results of the last few decades was our work that showed coherences survive at room temperature between pairs of nuclear spins separated by many microns or millimeters. This gives insight into fundamental questions in quantum mechanics, such as the differences between coherence, correlation and entanglement; it also lets us image temperature in vivo, measure local anisotropy, and detect tissue activation. We have used fundamental symmetries in spin physics to populate states which are immune to most relaxation mechanisms (and thus persist for minutes to hours). Coupled with a new catalytic approach to enhance molecular magnetization by about a factor of 100,000 over thermal values, this can improve the molecular information in clinical imaging... Please see the Physics' website for the rest of the abstract. Faculty Host: Mark Kruse. Coffee and cookies will be served before the event in Physics Room 130.

Event Date: 
Wednesday, March 2, 2016 - 3:30pm
Event Location: 
Physics 130
Event Contact: 
Paul, Cristin
Event Contact Email: 
Event Contact Phone: 
Event Speaker: 
Warren S. Warren (Duke University)