Designed for preclinical work as an alternative to larger MRI systems, the smaller-sized freestanding M2 MRI system is, according to Aspect, simple enough for researchers who are not MRI experts to “point-and-shoot” with streamlined subject preparation and average scan times of 10 minutes.
“By putting a more powerful imaging tool directly in the hands of researchers for easy, everyday use, we are improving the quality and volume of detailed information available to researchers,” Gideon Rossman, a spokesperson for Aspect told Outsourcing-Pharma.
Aspect said that the compact M2 system’s integrated shielding function provides researchers with convenient, safe access to MRI information from behind the animal barrier and beside their desks.
As a result there is no need to remove animal subjects from their controlled animal houses and follow prolonged protocols which slow down and increase the cost of work.
Furthermore, they claim, with dimensions of 120x60x133cm, the system is no larger than a compact photocopier and can be housed in the workplace providing preclinical researchers with easier access to MRI imaging for their studies
“We are convinced that this better, more accessible information will enable researchers to push beyond the current boundaries of their work and enable further scientific discovery,” Rossman added.
The compact MRI’s provision of powerful imaging information, married with its low operating and maintenance costs - around 25 per cent of a conventional 4.7 Tesla MRI system - undoubtedly add to its appeal, as “there is no need for ongoing resupply of cryogenic materials or the specialised maintenance staff required with conventional MRI systems,” said Rossman.
So far the compact system has grabbed the attention of researchers at Torino University’s Molecular Imaging Centre and Harvard Medical School, Caltech’s Biological Imaging Centre, Duke University’s Centre for In Vivo Microscopy, and The Weizmann Institute of Science, amongst other contract research organisations.
The M2 MRI system has already been installed in laboratories belonging to said academic researchers and centres that are performing research on rodents.
Several of these centres have since taken further steps to partner with drug development organisations and use the M2 to focus on evaluating tumour growth using contrast agents and longitudinal mouse studies.
“Our new generation of more accessible, affordable and compact systems is putting preclinical MRI directly into the hands of researchers to allow a better flow of information,” said Uri Rapoport, CEO of Aspect. This, he believes will “accelerate research.”