Safe power in magnetic resonance imaging environment

May 24, 2019 //By Patrick Le Fèvre
magnetic resonance
From the smallest to the largest, all electronic equipment requires power supplies, and with the increasing amount of wireless connected devices deployed in the medical environment, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) has become a big concern for all users.

In the vast majority of applications the power supplies’ EMC is manageable, but in some extremely demanding areas such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), the challenges for power supplies manufacturers are twofold, not to disturb the sensitive equipment, but also not to be disturbed by the multi tesla (T) magnetic field generated by the core of the MRI.

How can you guarantee that power supplies exposed to such extreme conditions will do the job?

Operating a switching power supply in very high magnetic field environments is very challenging and even reaches certain technical and physical limits as we know them today. To surpass these limits, power designers are exploring new paths, combining state of the art power conversion topologies with advanced software and digital technologies. Let’s see at a glance how MRI works and how power supply designers have invented new power solutions able to operate in multi tesla environments.


Hydrogen nuclei are the key in MRI!

As we learnt at school, the human body is composed of 70% water. Water molecules are made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom (H2O). An MRI machine can identify hydrogen nuclei contained in water molecules, which have a quantum physics property called spin.

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