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Size really does matter when purchasing equipment for laboratories

Laboratories are nearly always short of space which means bulky or very heavy equipment can’t be accommodated or has to be housed away from the laboratory.

The introduction of liquid helium free, pre-clinical, high field MRI scanners has been a boon to the world’s leading laboratories. The commercially available liquid helium free technology which was developed by MR Solutions is now available in a range of MRI, and multi-modality MRI scanners (with PET and SPECT modules) from 3T up to 9.4T.

MR Solutions remains the only company with an installed base of liquid helium free, high field scanners. The size and weight comparisons between liquid helium free and wet superconducting magnets – bathed in liquid helium – is quite staggering.

Comparison chart of liquid helium free or dry magnet and wet magnet MRI systems.

Other benefits of being liquid helium free are:

  • A solenoid can be placed on the casing, which reduces the stray magnetic field to a few centimetres.
  • There is no ongoing costly helium top ups – helium price has risen by 100% in last decade and is continuing to rise
  • From a capital cost point of view they can be wheeled in without cranes or extensive building alterations both to accommodate the scanners and the extensive emergency venting which is required with a “wet” MRI scanner.
  • Multi-modality imaging does away with the need for separate systems. PET-MRI or SPECT-MRI imaging either for independent acquisition, sequential acquisition, or simultaneous acquisition
  • Can be placed in class 3 and 4 laboratories as there is no external exhaust required and the stray magnetic field is negligible.

David Taylor, Chairman, at MR Solutions said: “One of the driving forces in the development of liquid helium free technology was the availability of space which traditionally has been a problem for many of our clients. What is particularly exciting from our point of view was that in redesigning the MRI scanner we were able to upgrade the image quality so that performance is unsurpassed.”

MR Solutions which has won numerous awards for its ground breaking technology has just recently won its third Queen’s Award for Enterprise.