The Atomic Energy Commission revealed on Tuesday April 2 the very first images of the human brain obtained using what is none other than the most powerful MRI machine in the world!

He answers to the sweet name of Iseult and like his namesake in French song, we can say that he is a star in his field! After more than twenty years of research which involved no less than 200 people, the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) revealed to the general public on Tuesday, April 2, the very first images of the human brain produced by someone who is none other than the most powerful MRI machine in the world to date. And the least we can say is that the images are stunning! Never before has such a precise photo of the human brain been taken on the blue planet. A feat!

It must be said that Iseult is equipped with a magnetic field of 11.7 Tesla, reports the Atomic Energy Commission. This information doesn’t mean anything to you? Please note that if you go to a hospital tomorrow to have an MRI, you will only have to use machines equipped with 1.5, or even 3 Tesla. Iseult is therefore four to six times more powerful than an ordinary MRI machine. On its website, the CEA announced in 2017 that it aimed to obtain images of the brain “100 times more precise” than with traditional imagers. To achieve these 11.7 teslas, Iseult is made up of a huge magnet five meters long, weighing no less than 130 tonnes, which was manufactured in Belfort between 2010 and 2017, and powered by a current of very high intensity (approximately 1,500 amps).

Installed at NeuroSpin, the CEA center in Paris-Saclay (Essonne) in 2017, Iseult could only be put into operation in 2021, with the first images delivered in October of the same year. At the time, a pumpkin served as a guinea pig, with numerous adjustments and authorizations still having to be acquired in order to use human beings. “By gaining resolution and contrast, we can have breathtaking details on anatomical details, such as veins, unattainable at lower magnetic fields,” Nicolas Boulant, the research director at the Atomic Energy Commission, explained on Tuesday ( CEA), which Le Parisien echoes.

In 2021, Nicolas Boulant already explained to the daily the interest of this incredible MRI, emphasizing that Iseult would allow researchers to “better understand the brain and what happens during certain learning, such as language”, but also to deepen our knowledge of this organ as well as “better understand the causes of certain brain pathologies, such as Alzheimer’s disease”. This Tuesday, the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, did not fail to congratulate the teams. Delighting on