For the past 30 years, MRI technology has relied upon higher magnetic field strengths to achieve a higher Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) in the MR Image. This trend has come to an end, driven mainly by the need for new cost containment strategies and regulatory constraints placed on main magnetic field strengths
Overcoming the dominant source of noise in an MR Image remains the key challenge. The loss of SNR from the RF coil is large - when compared with losses from the anatomic sample itself, particularly for parallel imaging where RF array coils are used. If RF coils can be optimized to reduce coil loss, they can greatly improve the SNR.
High Temperature Superconducting (HTS) materials, coils and methods have become the ideal approach to improving SNR. HTS coils deliver increased Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) to MR images primarily through the use of more efficient RF coil materials and design methods, specifically liquid nitrogen-cooled RF coils made from materials such as YiBaCuO and BiSrTiCaO. Compared to traditional Copper RF Coils, the HTS coils have demonstrated SNR gains of 50% , 100%, 200% and up to 500% for multi nuclei imaging studies. This innovative approach to increasing SNR can provide image quality benefits across routine & advanced clinical applications and can be applied using low, high or ultra-high field MRI scanners. HTS coils can easily be tuned to different frequencies, allowing for hydrogen, sodium, phosphorus or other clinically-useful nuclei to be imaged. Professor Q. Y. Ma, PhD developed HTS Coil Technology in the late 1990's, together with the R&D team he led at Columbia University, New York, USA.
Time Medical Systems was established by Professor Ma in 2006 - and is the first commercial entity to bring HTS Coil Technology to the clinical MRI market. The HTS program is driven by an experienced team of multi-disciplinary scientists, engineers and clinical MRI experts - focused on delivering a range of application-specific HTS coils including; Brain, Spine, Body, Knee, Shoulder, Wrist & TMJ. HTS coils will enhance the performance of TIME MEDICAL System's own portfolio of low-cost, high-performance MRI scanners and will soon be available to many of the healthcare industry's 22,000 MRI scanners installed throughout the world.