Since its launch in late 2012, the helium free, 3T, bench-top MRI scanner from MR Solutions has been sold to five institutions.

The universities of Antwerp, Düsseldorf, Perth, and the hospital research centers at George-Francois Leclerc Center, France, Beaumont Hospitals, US, are installing these scanners this year. The scanner takes up the space of a desk and can fit within an existing laboratory due to two new features.

First, the scanner does not have the usual liquid helium cooling system. Instead, it uses a magnet design with a new superconducting wire. This enables the use of a standard low temperature cryocooler to cool the magnet to the required 4 degrees Kelvin needed to achieve superconductivity.

Second, the scanner does not need to be in a metal-lined room: Its stray magnetic field is only a few centimeters and will not interfere with the other equipment in a laboratory. The elimination of the helium cooling system has allowed the optimum installation of an additional solenoid, which counters the stray magnetic field.