GE inks 7-telsa MRI deal with Varian

GE Healthcare of Chalfont St. Giles, U.K., has signed an agreement with Varian Inc. of Palo Alto, CA, to co-develop a 7-tesla MRI scanner for preclinical applications.

Under the terms of the deal, initial development and integration will be a joint effort between the companies. Once development is complete, Varian will market the 7-tesla system, which will combine GE's electronics, user interface, pulse sequences, and applications with the magnet, gradients, positioning devices, and radiofrequency coils provided by Varian.

Potential research applications of preclinical MRI include investigation of new contrast mechanisms and agents, monitoring gene expression, analysis of protein interactions, and determination of pharmacokinetics, according to the companies. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy imaging is a closely related technique, used to measure the concentrations of specific molecules in the body, enabling direct measurement of neurotransmitters in the brain or metabolites in muscle.

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