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Into the Future with Metrology - The Challenges of Medical Technology

Diagnostics and Therapy

New sensors for biomagnetic signals

MEG measuring device
MEG measuring device for the cross-evaluation of SQUIDs and OPMs.

MEG and MCG (magnetoencephalography and magnetocardiography, respectively) measure the extremely small magnetic fields that are generated by the currents in the brain and heart. For this purpose, SQUIDs (superconducting quantum interference devices) have been used for decades, which require costly cooling with liquid helium. The new optically pumped magnetometers (OPMs), which have become commercially available in recent years, work at room temperature. It is even more important for OPMs that the Earth's magnetic field and artificial magnetic fields are minimized using shielded environments. These are available at PTB, which operates the world’s best shielded room, the “BMSR2”, in Berlin. It is used, among other things, to develop even more sensitive SQUIDs for the combined use of MEG and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This enables even sharper images than pure MRI and helps physicians to study Parkinson's, epilepsy and other neuro-psychiatric disorders with the aim of improved diagnosis and personalized therapy. PTB is currently setting up a laboratory for the rapidly expanding field of OPMs in order to further strengthen cooperation with physicians and hospitals. The demand for the measurement experts from PTB by the medical-clinical world is shown by the strong international use of the DFG core facility "Metrology of Ultra-Low Magnetic Fields". It operates the BSMR2 and other magnetically shielded rooms belonging to PTB.


 Department involved

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