Spectrum Instruments PC Card Plays Key Role in Novel Infant Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Hansdorf, Germany, May 19, 2021 – Magnetic resonance (MRI) scanners are a critical diagnostic tool, but they are bulky and heavy and require cooling with liquid helium. Recently, Neoscan Solutions has invented a smaller and lighter MRI scanner that can be placed in a children’s ward in a hospital and scan the baby while sleeping, while saving the need to carry the child from the ward to the scan. The long process of equipment. Thanks to the digitizer and AWG provided by Spectrum Instruments, the instrument generates scan signals and obtains results with sub-nanosecond accuracy.

  Spectrum Instruments PC Card Plays Key Role in Novel Infant Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Neoscan’s new MRI scanner for newborns and children under two is a quarter the size and weight of previous devices

At present, the weight of the magnetic resonance scanner is about 8 tons, so the load-bearing capacity of the floor is very high when it is installed. This means that the equipment needs to be installed on specially reinforced floors or used in basements. In addition, a space of 40 square meters is required to house the MRI scanner and its associated equipment. Finally, special handling is required to cool the equipment through liquid helium.

Dr. Stefan Roell, founder of Neoscan Solutions in Germany, said: “I have used MRI scanners for many years and am well aware of this problem. Scanning children often means taking them from the ward to the scanner, which is a long process. . Because these children often have assistive devices that are not easy to move. Because of this, some children can’t even do MRI scans. We have specially designed an MRI scanner for newborns and infants. The diameter of the hole in the middle Only 30 inside, not 60 cm. Therefore, this scanner is much smaller (170cm x 150cm x 110cm) and can be passed through a standard door. It weighs only 2000 tools, can be installed on a standard floor, and takes up The floor area is only 10 square meters. It can be installed directly in the spare room of the children’s ward. It is very easy to carry the sleeping baby to a place only a few meters away for MRI, and it also saves the long process of walking through the hospital building, the most important thing The good thing is that the children don’t need to be sedated during the scan.”

Innovation needs

The technology and field strengths of the Neoscan device are identical to those of the scanners in use today, so no clinical studies are required to verify it. The creation of new equipment is inseparable from several of the company’s innovations. First, to reduce the size of the device, Neoscan developed dry magnets capable of generating a standard 1.5 Tesla magnetic field inside the hole, but without the need for liquid helium. This is done with an inner cylindrical magnet that produces 2.5T, however an outer cylindrical magnet is counteracted with the inner magnet, providing a strong active magnet shielding to eliminate all remaining clutter up to 1 meter from the device cover Scattered magnetic field.

  Spectrum Instruments PC Card Plays Key Role in Novel Infant Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Typical 8-ton MRI scanner

The second innovation is the ability to control electronics. Current MRI scanners typically require three specially developed Electronic racks that are custom-built and fabricated by the MRI manufacturer. Neoscan Solutions has tried a new approach. The team ran software developed by Neoscan on a personal computer, paired with a high-end measurement PC card provided by Spectrum instruments. The MRI signals were generated by M4i.6620-x8 and M2p.6546-x4 arbitrary waveform generators, and then analyzed by M2p.5968-x4 digitizer. The system uses Spectrum’s SCAPP software driver, which enables the 5,000-core graphics processor to perform parallel processing, rather than just using a normal 8- or 16-core CPU.


New MRI scanner body produced by the Neoscan team in Magdeburg, Germany

Sub-nanosecond accuracy for Spectrum instrument cards

Dr. Roell added: “As a start-up, we were not in a position to develop our own hardware, so we chose the high-quality standard cards provided by Spectrum Instruments, and were able to run our own software through its platform. Because the hardware was tested, This means we can focus on software development and speed up the development cycle. For MRI, phase coherence of the 64MHz signal is critical, otherwise there will be cancellation effects. In practice, this means AWG and matching The digitizers of ‘s must have sub-nanosecond coherence accuracy, and Spectrum’s cards fit that perfectly. At the research stage, it was also difficult for us to confirm this rather unusual level of detail from the cards provided by the various vendors. , Spectrum has provided excellent technical support in providing the best card specifications and in the implementation process. In contrast to other competitors, their proposal cycle is too long, and they do not understand our specific needs, so there are serious over-standards and over-pricing, etc. Happening.”

Neoscan will soon install its first device in a hospital in Germany. There, potential users can watch the machine in action as it scans the baby. Certification with the CE mark is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Dr. Roell concluded: “This way of running original software using an existing hardware platform has been very effective for us because it allows us to create a new product as quickly as possible. I think it is a very good solution. , can also be used in CT scanners and ultrasound instruments, especially it can help us test and evaluate through software changes, and also accelerate innovation.”

The Links:   VUB145-16NO1 LQ10D368