Purdue Biomedical Engineers are Using MRI to Improve Breast Cancer Screening

Sep 28, 2018

A lack of female computer models has hindered MRI breast cancer research
Credit Chloe Weber / WBAA News

Purdue University researchers are developing ways to use magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, scans to better detect breast cancer. But they haven’t tested their theories on humans yet. 

Biomedical engineering professor Joseph Rispoli says currently, scans are limited to a one-size-fits-all approach to detecting tumors. But he says his team’s efforts could allow an MRI scan to adjust for differing tissue density by using higher-strength magnetic fields.

However, his team met with a surprising obstacle -- a shortage of female computer models the team needed to use to conduct its research.

"Not having a model that was high enough resolution or in the correct anatyomical position delayed this research by years potentially," he says.

Rispoli worries the lack of female computer models is hindering development of new MRI techniques.