Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Non-invasive spatial tissue discrimination in ancient mummies and bones in situ by portable nuclear magnetic resonance


Rühli, Frank J; Böni, Thomas; Perlo, J; Casanova, F; Baias, M; Egarter, E; Blümich, B (2007). Non-invasive spatial tissue discrimination in ancient mummies and bones in situ by portable nuclear magnetic resonance. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 8(3):257-263.

Abstract

Historic mummies and skeletons have been investigated extensively by modern diagnostic imaging using computed tomography. But magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has never been applied successfully to mummies in a non-invasive way without tissue rehydration. The aim of this study is to show the feasibility and diagnostic impact of mobile MR technology to historic human tissues.

The natural glacier mummy Iceman, a mummified recent human cadaver, historic mummified body parts, historic bones, and living volunteers have been analysed by non-invasive, single sided NMR with the NMR-MOUSE®. We acquired high-resolution depth profiles and T2 relaxation curves of the head region of the Iceman mummy in situ in the storage room at the Museum and of the cadaver in the hospital. A spatial differentiation of surface ice layer, cutis, and skull bone up to a depth of 5 mm was possible. In ancient Egyptian mummified specimens, the thickness of a fingernail and a differentiation of a single bandage layer versus the skin underneath were possible. A comparison of depth profiles through different foreheads of mummies, skulls, and living people gives strong evidence, that single-sided NMR with the NMR-MOUSE is a non-invasive technique to determine bone density. Our results demonstrate for the first time the feasibility of non-clinical MRI to visualize historic human tissues in a non-invasive approach.

Abstract

Historic mummies and skeletons have been investigated extensively by modern diagnostic imaging using computed tomography. But magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has never been applied successfully to mummies in a non-invasive way without tissue rehydration. The aim of this study is to show the feasibility and diagnostic impact of mobile MR technology to historic human tissues.

The natural glacier mummy Iceman, a mummified recent human cadaver, historic mummified body parts, historic bones, and living volunteers have been analysed by non-invasive, single sided NMR with the NMR-MOUSE®. We acquired high-resolution depth profiles and T2 relaxation curves of the head region of the Iceman mummy in situ in the storage room at the Museum and of the cadaver in the hospital. A spatial differentiation of surface ice layer, cutis, and skull bone up to a depth of 5 mm was possible. In ancient Egyptian mummified specimens, the thickness of a fingernail and a differentiation of a single bandage layer versus the skin underneath were possible. A comparison of depth profiles through different foreheads of mummies, skulls, and living people gives strong evidence, that single-sided NMR with the NMR-MOUSE is a non-invasive technique to determine bone density. Our results demonstrate for the first time the feasibility of non-clinical MRI to visualize historic human tissues in a non-invasive approach.

Statistics

Citations

9 citations in Web of Science®
27 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

3 downloads since deposited on 24 Mar 2010
0 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Anatomy
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:July 2007
Deposited On:24 Mar 2010 14:25
Last Modified:21 Nov 2017 14:42
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1296-2074
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.culher.2007.03.002

Download