Skip to Content

3-D View of the Brain

New software for the operating room.
October 15, 2007

The 3-D rendering of a brain tumor and associated brain fibers at left, made by researchers at Thomas ­Jefferson University in Philadelphia, is the product of new software that integrates data from multiple imaging technologies to provide much clearer images. The image shows a tumor (blue mass) and its position relative to brain fibers (threadlike objects) that are affected by the tumor and vital to brain function. The software lets surgeons see which fibers are engulfed by the tumor (dashed lines) and which are outside the tumor (solid lines). Colors indicate the depth of the engulfed fibers or the exterior fibers’ distance from the tumor’s surface; for example, pink and red dashed lines represent deeply engulfed fibers. Pilot studies have demonstrated the software’s usefulness in neurosurgical planning; the researchers expect that with fine-tuning, the technology could be in operating rooms within a year. The images use data from conventional magnetic reso­nance imaging (MRI), which gives details on ­anatomy; functional MRI, which provides information on neural activity; and diffusion tensor imaging, which provides images of fibers connecting different brain areas.

Multimedia

  • See images produced by the new software.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Here’s how a Twitter engineer says it will break in the coming weeks

One insider says the company’s current staffing isn’t able to sustain the platform.

Technology that lets us “speak” to our dead relatives has arrived. Are we ready?

Digital clones of the people we love could forever change how we grieve.

How to befriend a crow

I watched a bunch of crows on TikTok and now I'm trying to connect with some local birds.

Starlink signals can be reverse-engineered to work like GPS—whether SpaceX likes it or not

Elon said no thanks to using his mega-constellation for navigation. Researchers went ahead anyway.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.