OCRA Tabletop MRI
Low-budget open-source MRI system for education and research
The OCRA Tabletop MRI system was created after the idea of the Martinos Center in Boston (Harvard Medical School, MIT) and the OCRA (Open-source Console for Real-time Acquisition) project initiated by Thomas Witzel. Through a cooperation a fully functional mini MRI system was developed at the research campus STIMULATE from the Otto-von-Guericke University that combines both projects. Thanks to the extensive equipment of the ego.-Incubator FLEXtronic electronics laboratory, the first prototype was built after only 2 years of development time.
The Tabletop MRI system is identical in construction to a modern clinical MRT, with which patients are examined. The core element is a permanent magnet made of neodymium in a special steel construction, which provides a 0.3T strong homogeneous magnetic field. The complete RF electronics and gradient coils are located in the magnet rack box. The housing protects against external interference and enables safe working. The RF and gradientelectronics are controlled using the OCRA console, based on a Red Pitaya microcontroller and the 18-bit DACs for generating analog gradients signals. A 4-channel 600 Watt gradient amplifier is used to amplify the gradient signals. The user interface is given by the OCRA software with an intuitive and individually adaptable graphical user interface. The OCRA Tabletop MRI system can perform spectroscopy, relaxometry and MR imaging of test tube-sized samples with a diameter of up to 15 millimeters.
The system creates an open source test environment for low-cost commercially available MR components and realizes low-cost teaching for students on a real, fully digital MRT. In addition, there is the potential to carry out chemical analyzes for various purposes.
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- Research to medical analysis technology and diagnosis technology
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