Docent lecture – Biomedical applications with high-Tc SQUIDs

Justin Schneiderman´s research is focused on medical applications of microtechnology, with particular emphasis on high critical-temperature superconducting quantum interference devices (high-Tc SQUIDs). This class of sensors is appealing when studying living systems, because of its high sensitivity (~50 fT/rHz down to 1 Hz) and moderate operating temperature (~77 K).  He has been involved in development of a magnetic nanoparticle-based biomolecular assay system, an ultra-low field magnetic resonance imager, and- more recently- a functional neuroimager.

Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is a neuroimaging method that records the magnetic fields generated by electrical activity in the brain. Clinically, MEG is used for localization of spike activity generated by epileptic foci as well as in pre-surgical mapping of eloquent brain regions. We are working to develop an advanced MEG system—“Focal MEG”—that enables, e.g., improved spatial resolution and the ability to detect more complicated sources of brain activity in comparison to the state-of-the-art. The system is based on high-Tc SQUIDs (high critical-temperature superconducting quantum interference devices) that are a new class of sensor technology in the field. The team has demonstrated both the theoretical benefit of making a paradigm shift to high-Tc sensors in MEG (1) as well as proof-of-principle 2-channel recordings of spontaneous brain activity (2). Present activities include benchmarking our sensors against conventional ones in a state-of-the-art MEG system at the newly-inaugurated Swedish NatMEG facility and development of our own MEG system with more high-Tc SQUID channels.

In this seminar, Justin will present a bit of the history of, and motivation for, using MEG in experimental neuroscience—as well as clinical—settings. He will compare and contrast MEG with other popular neuroimaging methods. After a brief explanation of the physical and physiological bases for MEG as a neuroimaging technique, he will present the motivation for development of Focal MEG. The aim is to construct a full-head MEG system based on high-Tc SQUID sensors that maximizes the benefits they provide while accounting for their limitations. Justin will conclude by presenting proof-of-principle spontaneous brain activity recordings with our 2-channel MEG system, ongoing work, and future research and development activities towards a clinically-useful Focal MEG system.

(1) J. F. Schneiderman.  Journal of Neuroscience Methods 222 (2014): 42– 46
(2) F. Öisjöen, J. F. Schneiderman, G. A. Figueras, M. L. Chukharkin, A. Kalabukhov et al. Appl. Phys. Lett. 100, 132601 (2012)


Presented by Justin F. Schneiderman


Date:  Wednesday, May 21st


Time: 14.00-15.00 pm


Location:  Lecture hall Kollektorn, Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience–MC2, Kemivägen 9, Chalmers Johanneberg Campus


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