MedTech West part of a collaborative project that receives 34 million kr. grant
Justin F. Schneiderman, researcher at MedTech West and Sahlgrenska Academy has, together with colleagues at Chalmers University of Technology, Karolinska Institute’s NatMEG center, and Sahlgrenska Academy recently been granted almost 35 million SEK for the collaborative project NeuroSQUID.
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW), the largest private financier of research in Sweden, granted the funding for a new 5-year project that combines nanotechnology and neuroscience. The project, under the leadingship of Dag Winkler, professor in physics at Chalmers University of Technology, aims to develop superconducting sensors—so-called nanoSQUIDs—for recording the weak magnetic fields generated by brain activity. The collaborative team includes professors Martin Ingvar at Karolinska Institute and NatMEG in Stockholm, Mikael Elam and Johan Wessberg at Sahlgrenska Academy and Chalmers researchers Thilo Bauch and Alexei Kalabukhov.
The project provides an entirely new approach to previous work at MedTech West on magnetoencephalography (MEG). MEG is an important medical imaging technique for clinical diagnostic and neuroscience applications, but today’s hardware is expensive. The only MEG system available within Sweden today is a part of the Karolinska Institute’s NatMEG center for neuroimaging. Two years ago, the research group was the first in the world to demonstrate a cheaper alternative via demonstration of high-Tc SQUID-based recordings of spontaneous brain activity. The “high-temperature MEG” system can be used for the same type of advanced neurological studies as state-of-the-art systems while providing significant cost-savings. Quite unexpectedly, some types of brain activity that have not been observed with other techniques were also investigated with this new method, potentially opening up new avenues of study within neuroscience. By building arrays of high-Tc nanoSQUIDs, the hope is that this new project will push the research even further. Collaboration with NatMEG researchers provides the critical capability to compare this new approach with the state-of-the-art. As such, we hope to demonstrate that our high-Tc nanoSQUID-based technique can provide even more sensitivity for improved investigations of brain activity.