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Panel Session: The future outlook for medical magnetic resonance imaging superconducting magnets enabled by new materials

New superconducting materials are constantly emerging as the entire world is pushing hard to discover, integrate and scale up superconducting magnet systems for medical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. These new materials hold the promise of enabling helium-free MRI systems with potentially lower costs to manufacture and operate with increased reliability and resiliency.

The MRI research and development space is a unique field where the intersection of materials science and magnet technology are leveraged in tandem to produce a medical imaging solution that is simply unrivaled by other imaging technologies like X-rays, ultrasound and computerized tomography. Because the imaging quality and utility of MRI is the best amongst all other options, continual improvement in this field has the potential for very significant commercial disruption and economic gains in a rapidly increasing global market.

Supporting technologies such as cryogenic and quench detection/mitigation systems are also key to the enablement of next generation MRI machines and continue to be at the forefront of research and development efforts in the scientific community. The National High Magnetic Field Lab (MagLab) hosts facilities in both Tallahassee, FL and Gainesville, FL with its liason partner Magnetics Corporation (MagCorp), and exciting opportunities in both the research and commercialization phases of new superconducting materials are currently main focal points. There is an open ongoing invitation from MagLab and MagCorp to collaborations with industry, other national labs and academia.

Key Takeaways: New superconducting materials like REBCO are opening doors to more affordable, accessible and sustainable MRI's, cryogenic requirements for new superconducting materials are getting closer to becoming helium free although not quite there yet, quench detection and mitigation technology is rapidly developing and is critical to integration of new superconducting materials, MagLab facilities at Florida State University and University of Florida are actively researching and developing in this space and always open to collaborations with industry, other national labs and academia

Forefront new superconducting materials: potential winners, downsides/dealbreakers and other considerations, the importance of supporting technologies such as cryogenics and quench detection/mitigation systems, needs/pains from clinical perspectives and users, available facilities/assets/resources present at the MagLab and MagCorp, specific collaborative opportunities with the MagLab

Moderator: Jeff Whalen

Panelists: Greg Boebinger, Director, MagLab

Ernesto Bosque, MagLab Scientist, Florida State University

Glenn Walter, Professor and Scientist, University of Florida, Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy (AMRIS)

Scott Marshall, Senior Superconducting Magnet Systems Engineer, National High Magnetic Field Laboratory


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