World's Highest Field Strength Permanent Magnet MRI from MDT

By : Som Panicker, Vice President, MRI Division, Sanrad Medical Systems
Posted on: Friday, January 27, 2012

World's Highest Field Strength Permanent Magnet MRI from MDT

US based Multi Dimensional Technology (MDT), represented in India by Sanrad, presents the world's highest field strength permanent magnet magnetic resonance imaging system named xStar 7000

Close View: World’s first 0.7T MRI developed by MDT, model xStar 7000)

The xStar 7000 represents a historic breakthrough in permanent magnet magnetic resonance technology. It not only means that the permanent magnet system technology competes with any superconducting MRI system available today with image quality and specification comparable to super conducting MRI, but this technological breakthrough also means that XBO-MDT a joint company between US based MDT and their Chinese partner XBO medical Systems with their factory in Beijing where xStar 7000 is manufactured is likely to become the world's largest permanent magnet suppliers.

In Zhengzhou, at the opening of the China International Medical Equipment Fair autumn, XBOMDT announced the joint venture factory and design facilities with the help of a team of scientists from MIT and Harward, USA with funding from world’s largest magenet manufacturing company XBO.

After a decade of hard work and constant exploration, MDT successfully developed a 0.7T permanent magnet system xStar 7000, this is currently the highest in the world employing permanent magnet technology. This technology broke the permanent magnet field strength theoretical limit, taking the application of permanent magnet magnetic resonance a new milestone. 0.7Tesla permanent magnet system not only means low cost MRI imaging, but also means no compromise on the quality of a high field MR system.

xStar 7000 from MDT is a new attempt for the first time in the world to develop new technology based on the permanent-magnet system, designed to maximise the field strength to achieve the quality so far possible only with superconducting systems. At the same time the new system has one of the best spatial and contrast resolution achieved among open MR systems, surpassing even high field open( Hybrid) MR systems. Another major breakthrough is reduction in the magnet weight making it much less than high field open magnets making it very compact and easy to install.

Magnetic field strength and performance is closer to some of the 1.5T Supercon systems making it an ideal choice to minimise high equipment cost as well as costly maintenance.

Another unique technology development from MDT is the ultra-high-order active shimming technology enables open xStar 7000 system to achieve the field homogeneity of a super con MR system. xStar 7000 also features the highest gradient strength and slew rate available for a permanent system in the world so far. Many sequences and imaging techniques are also unique in this design making some of the high field application possible.

xStar 7000 system image quality, imaging speed, clinical features, operating system, clinical application etc., are designed in order to achieve the same features of high-field superconducting magnetic resonance imaging system level. In fact xStar 7000 is the first really high-field permanent magnet with no helium or high power consumption at the same time having a light weight magnet.

Another big feature MDT designed with xstar 7000 is one of the most user-friendly intra operative MR systems so far designed in the world.

Presiding over the release of xStar 7000 system Dr Jianyu Lian, Director, XBO-MDT Beijing said, xStar 7000 system's performance and image quality are nothing inferior to a 1.5T superconducting MRI.

From a technology point of view, it has broken the world's existing permanent magnetic field strength record, but that was not the intention of MDT. The intention was to achieve the best cost effective solution for MR imaging.

It is understood that currently in the market, MRI products are mainly divided into two types, permanent magnet type which are normally less than 0.4T field strength, less expensive and the superconducting which are above 1T to 3T, but extremely expensive.

Superconducting magnets are having very good quality but at the same time has many limitations like high initial and running expenses, risks of helium leaks (quenching) and patient issues like claustrophobia.

Dr Lian also said in an interview that China has world's most abundant reserves of rare earth resources and materials used in the manufacture of permanent magnet, MDT's permanent magnet technology is one of the best available in the world and they are conducting research on spectroscopy and other high tesla specific MR sequences with 0.7T xstar 7000 in order to develop clinically and commercially acceptable results.

This technological breakthrough will poise the whole of MRI equipment industry to a prestigious position by launching one of the highest strength permanent MR. MDT has big plans to market their MR product range globally and they have sold many systems in Russia, Brazil, Turkey, India beside the local market of China. MDT wishes to become world‘s number one manufacturer of permanent magnet MR systems in the world in next five years.

In India, MDT is represented by Sanrad Medical Systems, Mumbai and they have successfully installed 11 units including mStar 4500, India’s only 0.45T permanent MRI at Pune. Sanrad Medical Systems will shortly announce the market launch date for world’s highest strength permanent MRI, xstar 7000 in India.