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Superconducting MRI Scanner Cryo-Coils Developed To Produce Higher Resolution Images

A new high temperature superconducting cryo-coil for the MRI scanner that increases the Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) and is more sensitive compared to conventional coils has been developed.

The technology was  by researchers in the U.S. at the University of Houston, TX. The new coil can reveal brain structures that conventional MRI coils cannot. Initial testing was performed on rat brains for imaging of neurological disorders.

The coil is a 7-T high-temperature superconducting MRI scanner Cryo-probe, with which MRI scanners can produce higher resolution images or acquire images faster than with conventional coils. Currently, the coil is optimized for experiments using brain tissue samples, or on live animals. Researchers were able to demonstrate an isotropic resolution of 34 microns during imaging of rat brains.

Research team leader from the University of Houston, Jarek Wosik, said ‘Research in animal models yields critical information to improve diagnosis and treatment of human diseases and disorders. This work also has the potential to clearly benefit clinical MRI, both through high-quality imaging and through shortening the time patients are in the scanner. Compared to corresponding standard room temperature MRI scanner coils, the performance of the cooled normal metal and/or the high-temperature superconducting receiver coils lead either to an increase in imaging resolution and its quality, or to a very significant reduction in total scan time.’

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