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Visualization of neural activity of the spine

Identify the sites of neural conduction defects by detecting biomagnetism.

Background

Many people suffer from neuropathy and myelopathy.
As the society ages, there is concern about a future increase in the number of sufferers.

Solutions

To diagnose spine neuropathy, doctors generally visualize the shapes of living bodies using devices like the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). Yet it is difficult to determine the sites of neural conduction defects just by looking at the shapes.
Thus, Ricoh has developed the world’s first non-invasive neural activity imaging device (MEG: MagnetoEncephaloGraphy)

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Technical highlights

Ricoh has collaborated with other research institutes (*), and developed a system to measure neural activities in the spine.

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Schematic depiction of the system

  • Capable of detecting an extremely weak magnetic field, approx. weaker than one billionth of the Earth’s field.
  • Capable of measuring neural conduction, which is as fast as 60 m per second, in microseconds.
  • Makes the result easy to see; the image showing the shape is precisely superimposed on the visualized neural activity.

Thus, the technology allows neural conduction to be diagnosed while minimizing the burden on the body.

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Ricoh's vision

Ricoh intends to use its strong image processing technologies nurtured through the development of imaging devices, making it easy to diagnose spondylopathy patients and improve their quality of life.
Ricoh will continue to use its original technologies to contribute to the field of healthcare.

*Joint research institutes: Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Kanazawa Institute of Technology