MAG4Health He OPM-MEG System

The MAG4Health is a fully integrated OPM MEG system based on proprietary quantum technology to enable a new generation of MEG research

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MAG4Health He OPM-MEG System

MAG4Health He OPM-MEG System

The MAG4Health is a brand new fully integrated Optically pumped magnetometers (OPM)-MEG system based on proprietary quantum technology to enable a new generation of neuroimaging and MEG with a 48-sensor whole-head coverage system.

What is MEG?

Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is a noninvasive technology for imaging brain function in real-time. The approach is based on the measurement of magnetic fields generated (mainly) by synchronous dendritic current flow through neuronal assemblies outside the head. Mathematical modelling of these fields permits the development of three-dimensional images (termed source localisation) depicting the moment-to-moment variations in electrical activity as the brain responds to different experimental circumstances or cognitive demands.

What is OPM-MEG?

In recent years, a novel magnetic field sensing method has emerged in the MEG field. OPMs are magnetic-field sensors with equivalent sensitivity as SQUIDs that do not require cryogenic cooling. This has resulted in the development of novel MEG systems, and 'OPM-MEG' scanners are beginning to outperform the existing state of the art in terms of data quality, uniformity of coverage, motion robustness, and system complexity, while being a relatively new technology.

Many of these obstacles are starting to be removed by the next MEG technology generation. "OPM-MEG" has the potential to drastically surpass the existing state of the art by utilising quantum sensors that are known as optically pumped magnetometers (OPMs). This could result in improved data quality (higher sensitivity and spatial resolution), adaptation to any head size or shape (from babies to adults), motion resilience (participants can move freely during scanning), and a less sophisticated imaging platform (without reliance on cryogenics).

Optically Pumped Magnetometer (OPM) scanners have various advantages over traditional MEG scanners, including:

1. Increased signal sensitivity

2. Improved spatial resolution

3. Greater uniformity of coverage

4. Lifespan compliance

5. freedom of participant mobility during scanning

6. Lower operating costs and no need for supercooling

7. Reduce system complexity

What are the applications for OPM-MEG?

OPM-MEG can be used to measure a number of electrophysiological events that are often reported by MEG and EEG. Commonly, evoked responses to sensory stimuli of many modalities are evaluated, with OPMs giving high-fidelity measurements (Borna et al., Non-invasive functional-brain-imaging with an OPM-based magnetoencephalography system 2020).

Likewise, brain oscillations have been detected over many frequency bands with good SNR (Iivanainen et al., Potential of on‐scalp meg: Robust detection of Human Visual gamma‐band responses 2019). Using wearable OPM-MEG sensors, epileptiform activity has been characterised, suggesting the potential for future clinical application (Feys et al., On-scalp optically pumped magnetometers versus cryogenic magnetoencephalography for diagnostic evaluation of epilepsy in school-aged children 2022).

OPM-MEG has advantages over other functional neuroimaging techniques: fMRI, for instance, is limited to haemodynamic measurement, has poor temporal resolution, requires participants to be in a confined and loud area, and requires participants to remain still, making it difficult to quantify brain activity in naturalistic circumstances. While EEG and fNIRS provide realistic activity while scanning, they have either limited spatial (EEG) or temporal (fNIRS) resolution (fNIRS). For these reasons, within the landscape of functional imaging, OPM-MEG is beginning to stand out as an emergent tool that surpasses current technologies in a number of respects.

There are numerous sectors that stand to benefit from these advantages.

For instance:

  • Greater spatial accuracy and sensitivity will be extremely beneficial for all functional mapping studies, including clinical applications (e.g., mapping epileptiform activity) and fundamental research. The scanning of neonates, infants, and children is easier with OPM-MEG than with SQUID MEG, which offers both clinical and fundamental research prospects (e.g., the study of neurodevelopmental problems) (e.g., examining how electrophysiological activity and connectivity change during the early years of life).
  • The ability to scan while free movement makes MEG accessible to individuals who would find it difficult to endure a traditional scanner, such as those with mobility problems. Additionally, motion tolerance gives the opportunity for novel forms of exploration (e.g., immersive environments, or naturalistic scenarios).
  • OPMs are not restricted to the study of the brain; they are also being used to evaluate the electrophysiology of the peripheral nervous system, muscles, heart, and even enteric nervous system.

 

References

Borna, A. et al. (2020) “Non-invasive functional-brain-imaging with an OPM-based magnetoencephalography system,” PLOS ONE, 15(1). Available at: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0227684. 

Iivanainen, J., Zetter, R. and Parkkonen, L. (2019) “Potential of on‐scalp meg: Robust detection of Human Visual gamma‐band responses,” Human Brain Mapping, 41(1), pp. 150–161. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.24795. 

Feys, O. et al. (2022) “On-scalp optically pumped magnetometers versus cryogenic magnetoencephalography for diagnostic evaluation of epilepsy in school-aged children,” Radiology, 304(2), pp. 429–434. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1148/radiol.212453. 

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CRYOGENICS FREE

The MAG4Health OPM MEG system operates at room temperature, making it neither cooled, nor heated, as opposed to a cryogenic MEG system

MODULAR ELECTRONICS

MAG4Health’s electronics rely on a modular approach, allowing to upscale the sensor number while keeping precise synchronization, both among sensors and with stimulation devices, simple digital data acquisition and a user-friendly computer interface.

SELF-COMPENSATED SENSORS

The MEG offers a closed loop system with a large dynamic range (up to 250 nT), zero cross axes effects and a stable transfer function.

COMFORTABLE, MOBILE DESIGN

By operating at room temperature and allowing head movement, The MAG4Health OPM MEG system releases the patient of any thermal or physical discomfort.

Bandwidth (Hz)

DC-2,000Hz

To allow the recording of a wider range of brain dynamics, including epileptic activity such as HFO and fast ripple.

Dynamic Range (nT)

up to 300nT

Resulting in reduced requirements in magnetic shielding and improvements in susceptibility to background magnetic noise (reduced sensor saturation or movement-related noise), with no requirement for additional field-nulling coils.

Sensor Noise (fT/rtHz)

<35ft/rtHz

Lower sensitivity is compensated by the fact that sensors are in direct contact with the scalp, resulting in higher signal acquisition as a consequence of the absence of thermal insulation required with other OPM systems.

Power Dissipation (50 sensor array) (W)

1W

Allowing for sensors to operate at room temperature with no issues with the longevity of use caused by thermal heating. This also allows for sensors to be directly positioned and placed on the subject's scalp which has seen significant improvements in signal-to-noise ratio.

Accuracy

Closed Loop on 3 axis

Resulting in

  • No drift of sensors
  • Reduced inconsistency within the network giving a more accurate reconstruction of brain current (activity)
  • No Cross Axis Projection Error (CAPE)
  • Improved stability to magnetic disturbances

Sensor Localisation

Helmet fixation with Auto Localisation

Achieved using a proprietary anti-localising scanning method for each sensor with respect to other sensors and to a head reference frame.

Sensor Dimension (mm)

19 x 19 x 50mm

Allowing for the placement of 96 (adult) and 85 (child) sensors within the helmet.

Reliability (Longevity)

~10year

Following extensive accelerated ageing tests and based on He4 OPM technology that has been developed for use in space applications (tests still ongoing).

Compatible Products

Associated Techniques

To find out more about the techniques that are applicable to this product, follow the links below.

Added Value

In addition to supplying and supporting a wide range of neuroscience products, Brainbox offers additional value in a number of areas that can benefit our customers, including:

Training
Installation, Product Training, Technique Training, Bespoke Training

Lab Support
System Upgrades, Testing, Calibration, System Integration, Bespoke Solutions

Research Support
Study Design, Piloting, Technical Information, References

Collaboration
Grant Applications, Industrial Projects, Workshops

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