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New MRI scanner developed for food industry research

03 April 2013

A new, three Tesla superconducting MRI scanner has been developed by Guildford based MR Solutions for the food industry.

The scanner doesn’t require liquid helium cooling and has a magnetic stray field of a few centimetres so it 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 says, with its magnet partner, was able to do away with the usual liquid helium cooling system by using a magnet design incorporating new superconducting wire. This enables the use of a standard low temperature Cryocooler to cool the magnet to the required -269°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. 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.”


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