According to a Michigan State University news release, researchers are working with the gases xenon and helium to improve the ability of an MRI to detect lung diseases.

Sometime in the future, patients will inhale a magnetized gas, have an MRI on their lungs, and learn if they have asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or perhaps something worse.

But for that to happen, the techniques needed to magnetize the gas that a patient inhales to make the MRI image useable need to be perfected.

And that is where Michigan State University research comes in.

Jaideep Singh, an assistant professor with the MSU National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, is working with the gases xenon and helium in an effort to make them useful in the search for these lung diseases.

“If you want to image the void spaces in the lungs, you need some sort of a signal source there,” Singh said. “Magnetized xenon or helium could be that source.”

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