A new, three Tesla superconducting MRI scanner developed by MR Solutions is ideal for the food industry. This breakthrough scanner does not require liquid helium cooling and with a magnetic stray field of a few centimetres can be wheeled into a laboratory and placed alongside other sensitive equipment.
MRI scanners have been used by researchers in the food industry for many years including determining crystallisation, dehydration, gelation, diffusion and in the measurement of fruit ripening processes.
MR Solutions, a leader in the development and manufacture of research MRI systems, was able, with its magnet partner, to do away with the usual liquid helium cooling system by using a revolutionary magnet design incorporating new superconducting wire. This enables the use of a standard low temperature Cryocooler to cool the magnet to the required four 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. The elimination of the helium cooling system has allowed the optimum installation of an additional solenoid which counters the stray magnetic field.
“These breakthroughs have two significant benefits for food research laboratories,” says MR Solutions chief executive Dr David Taylor.
“Firstly, the cost is dramatically reduced by doing away with the liquid helium cooling and attendant safety devices. Secondly, the space required for the system is only the size of a desk.”
MR Solutions is based in Guildford in the south east of England.
“We are sure that our new bench-top MRIs will be welcomed with open arms by labs which are always constrained by budgets and lack of space,” says Dr Taylor.
MR Solutions has 25 years of experience in developing scanners for research and academia. It also develops MRI systems and sub systems to individual customer specifications which it distributes and supports through a global network.