Doctors usually check fetal development with ultrasound imaging, which can monitor a baby’s growth and show blood flow through the placenta, the organ that gives nutrients to the fetus. Researchers from MIT are collaborating with colleagues at Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to more directly gauge the health of the placenta and other organs.
At a conference this month, the researchers presented a paper that shows a method of using MRI scans to measure chemical changes over time in organs like the placenta; an algorithm helps identify and track organs on a fetal scan, accounting for the fact that a fetus cannot sit still for MRI imaging.
Elfar Adalsteinsson, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, is working on new MRI technologies for fetal imaging, and Polina Golland, also an EECS professor, is working with her group to develop software for interpreting the images.
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