Diagnostic imaging  

Cooled MRI probe doubles sensitivity of in-vivo animal imaging

11 May 2006

Seattle, USA. German company Bruker BioSpin has developed a novel magnetic resonance imaging probe that improves image quality and can reduce scan time.

The company's pioneering CryoProbe technology has now been implemented for in-vivo animal MRI at 9.4 Tesla. Imaging and spectroscopy applications on mouse brain have demonstrated a 100% improvement in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Compared to the corresponding standard room temperature MRI coils, the performance of the new MRI CryoProbe leads either to an increase in imaging resolution and quality, or to a reduction in the total scan time by a factor of 4. The results are being presented at the ISMRM 14th Scientific Meeting, Seattle, USA May 7-13, 2006

Bruker BioSpin's CryoProbe technology uses cryogenic RF coils and pre-amplifiers cooled by a closed-cycle refrigeration system. As a consequence, the coil performance is improved and the noise contribution of the associated electronics is strongly reduced. Bruker BioSpin is the pioneer in the development of cryogenically cooled probes for high-resolution NMR and has installed more than 500 systems worldwide during the last seven years. This technology now for the first time is available also in the field of in-vivo animal MR imaging at 9.4Tesla, or 400 MHz proton frequency.

The first MRI CryoProbe was delivered to the University / ETH Zurich, Switzerland in January 2006, and is routinely used for imaging applications in the neuroscience area. Professor Markus Rudin at the Animal Imaging Center, ETH Zurich, explains: "This novel MRI CryoProbe technology with its significant increase in sensitivity will greatly enhance the potential of MRI in small animals. The improvements in SNR translate, e.g., into improved quality of fMRI data or can be used to enhance spatial resolution."

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