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Research units take up bench top MRI scanner  

Mar 10 2013 Read 777 Times

Since the launch of its helium free, 3T, bench top MRI scanner late last year MR Solutions has taken orders for the installation of five of these machines from university and hospital research units across the world.

The universities of Perth (Australia), Antwerp, Düsseldorf and the hospital research centres at George-Francois Leclerc centre (France), Beaumont Hospitals (Michigan) are installing these powerful new scanners over the next year.

Two major advances enable the scanner to be fitted into an area the space of a desk; firstly it replaces the usual liquid helium cooling system with a magnet design incorporating new superconducting wire. Thus a standard low temperature cryocooler can be used to cool the magnet to the required 4 degrees Kelvin (minus 269 degrees C) needed to achieve superconductivity.

Secondly it does not have to be in a separate metal lined room (a Faraday cage) as its stray magnetic field is only a few centimetres and will not interfere with the other equipment in a laboratory. These technological advances have dramatically reduced the cost of this powerful scanner to make it extremely competitive.

Professor Van der Linden Bio Imaging Laboratory of the University of Antwerp commented “This new scanner is a breakthrough and will provide us with the extra scanning power we need within our existing facilities. We can just wheel it in without knocking down any walls and without having to install a costly helium system and the safety system that goes with it. And as its stray magnetic field is so small we can put other sensitive laboratory equipment and scanners close by for much better work flow and don’t have to isolate it in a Faraday cage.”

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