Breakthrough in magnetoencephalography from outer space

Categorie(s) : Innovation & Society, Research

Published : 5 February 2018

Researchers at Leti replaced SQUID* sensors with optically-pumped magnetometers used in space applications with the goal of slashing the cost of magnetoencephalography (MEG) machines fivefold by 2022. In research conducted under a European project, the team was able to successfully demonstrate the new magnetometers’ performance. MEG is a neuroimaging technique used to record the magnetic fields produced by the brain’s electrical activity. A total of five of the machines have been installed in France, at neurology research centers. The switch to optically-pumped magnetometers will eliminate the need to cool the SQUIDs to 4K and lighten the weight added by the machine’s magnetic shielding. In addition, the signals obtained will be natively vector-based, providing more detailed images of brain activity.

*Superconducting quantum interference device


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