Two Swiss scientists have received an award for their research into the influence of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) on pacemakers and defibrillators.
Roger Lüchinger, a 30-year-old physicist, and Firut Duru, a 36-year-old doctor, were given SFr25,000 by Medtronic Switzerland, which created the award. The two scientists examined the effects of MRI generated magnetic fields on implanted pacemakers and defibrillators.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a form of medical imaging which measures the response of the atomic nuclei of the body tissues to high-frequency radio waves when placed in a strong magnetic field, and produces images of the internal organs.
Defibrillators, on the other hand, are used to control heart fibrillation (uncontrolled contraction of heart muscle fibres) by application of an electric current to the chest wall or heart.
The Ake Senning Award was created in memory of a Swedish pioneer in cardio-vascular surgery, Ake Senning, who performed the first heart transplant in Switzerland in 1969. Senning, who died in Zurich on July 21, 2000 at the age of 85, was also the first to successfully implant a pacemaker (1958).
The award is attributed every year to doctors and scientists younger than 40 who are active in the fields of electro-physiology and cardiology.
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