MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on its recent analysis of the superconductor technology for MRI market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Cutting Edge Superconductors, Inc. with the 2013 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Innovation Leadership. CES, Inc. developed a proprietary technology based on magnesium diboride superconducting wire, which enabled cryogen-free 1.5T and 3.0T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with image qualities similar to the currently available 1.5T MRI. The technology leveraged innovative customizations in the chemistry of the material by adding both magnetic and nonmagnetic impurities to magnesium diboride wires. This resulted in much-required improvements to the critical currents of superconducting magnesium diboride wires.
The cryogen-free 0.5T MRI delivers images of average quality when compared to 1.5T MRI, as the quality of image is directly dependent on the square of the strength of the magnetic field. However, the current 1.5T MRI technology requires the use of cost-intensive liquid helium, which increases the cost of maintenance, operation, as well as initial cost.
"The next-generation, cryogen-free 1.5T and 3.0T MRI technology promises a reduction in the MRI scan cost by up to 40 percent due to the financial viability and simplicity of the MRI equipment," said Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Avimanu Basu. "This cost-effectiveness is achieved by maintaining a higher operating temperature of 20 degrees K with the help of a cryocooler, which eliminates the need for expensive liquid helium."
Furthermore, the technology is maintenance-free and extends the equipment's longevity to 10 to 20 years. The presently available MRI has a lifetime of five to seven years and is complex and expensive to maintain, as it employs superconducting NbTi wires that operate at a temperature of 4 degrees K. This necessitates cooling with the help of 1,700 liter of liquid helium cryogen.
"CES, Inc.'s technology is aimed at improving the current-carrying capacity of wires and thus, the field strength of the magnet," noted Basu. "On the one hand, this makes the device more industrially viable and simple and on the other, it supports the development of a range of applications across industries."
The technology is expected to influence a wide spectrum of industries such as electrical power (generation, transmission, and distribution), healthcare, airport and defense. It can also be applied in high-performance cryogen-free magnets for scientific nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), accelerators, and fusion reactors. It will also benefit small hospitals in economically unstable nations in the form of low-cost, high-quality portable MRI.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated uniqueness in developing a technology, which significantly impacts both the functionality and the customer value of new products and applications. The award lauds the relevance of the innovation to the industry.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About Cutting Edge Superconductors, Inc.
Cutting Edge Superconductors (CES), Inc. pursues cutting edge technologies in superconductor applications. Currently CES has the world's best patented technology for producing MgB2 wires for next generation cryogen-free 1.5T and 3T MRI. The patent was registered in the US (7,791,343 and 8,390,293), European Union (2,173,247, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, UK, and France), Korea (10-1092345), and China (1,258,335). It is pending in Japan. This patented technology will revolutionize the MRI market and will lead to affordable MRI equipment to most hospitals and much cheaper MRI scan cost to patients, providing better public health service.
To bring the next generation cryogen-free 1.5T and 3T MRI to market until next summer, 2015, CES Inc. is collaborating with LUVATA, the world's leading superconducting wire company, and GE, the world's leading MRI company.
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SOURCE Frost & Sullivan