Finnish researchers designing mobile MR unit that could fit in a van

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Finnish researchers designing mobile MR unit that could fit in a van

par John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | June 02, 2020
European News MRI

The new MR is a collaborative effort, with the university’s department of electrical engineering and automation in the School of Electrical Engineering overseeing the magnetic structure and computational modeling, while the department of design at the School for Arts, Design and Architecture plans the applications and design language of the equipment. Aalto Design Factory is involved in the implementation and mechanical design of the device.

Researchers at Aalto hope to begin testing a prototype of the system soon and are searching for suitable applications for it. A few ideas include use in refugee camps and other emergency locations, and potentially in wellness sectors — a new environment for MR imaging — to measure body fat. Uusitalo says continued innovations of this technology may one day lead to the creation of a van-sized high-field MR system, but that challenges around cost and safety must be addressed first.

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"There may be van-sized high field MR and these will be targeted in some special areas such as the brain, joint, and breast scanning," he said. "However, the technology will be rather costly and there are safety issues related to the high magnetic field."

The project is funded by the Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation, and the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.

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