Sensor components help localizing functional disorders in human brain
Finnish company Elekta Neuromag, the market leader in its field, uses magnetic field sensors developed and manufactured by VTT in its MEG systems. These systems are used in the investigation of epilepsy and neurological disorders, among others.
Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is a technique used in the functional brain mapping. This is done by analysing the weak magnetic fields that originate from electrical activity within the brain.
The MEG technique is made possible by the superconducting sensors that measure the extremely small magnetic fields of the brain, non-invasively from outside the body. The heart of the sensor, SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device), is the most sensitive device known for the measurement of magnetic fields and field gradients.
Elekta’s MEG system enables various diagnostic operations, such as localizing the areas in the cerebral cortex where the epileptic seizure originates. It is also used for presurgical mapping of visual, auditory, somatosensory, motor cortex and language functional areas. The system can also be used to study neurological and psychological disorders, such as autism, brain damage, schizophrenia, depression and learning disabilities. Each MEG system manufactured by Elekta contains 306 SQUID sensors, developed and manufactured by VTT. Elekta’s MEG systems are already used in over 65 locations around the world.
VTT has been designing and developing robust fabrication processes for superconducting sensors from the 70s. The components are manufactured in VTT’s clean rooms in Espoo, and they have been used in commercial MEG devices since 1992.