MRI Scanners | Liquid Helium Specialty Gases | Coregas NZ

MRI scanners

Magnetic resonance imaging scanners are used in hospitals for diagnostics. The MRI scanner requires liquid helium to function.

The demographic profile in Australia reveals a moderately ageing population, with 12% of the population in the 55 to 64 age group and 16% over 65 years old. The profile is not as aged as Japan where the most senior age group represents 28% of the population, but not as young as China where these two age categories each contain around 11% of the population.

This points to a high and growing need for healthcare provision for the elderly with the most sophisticated diagnostic devices guiding therapeutic intervention.

In many cases, diseases can be diagnosed using blood and urine samples plus the techniques of chemical pathology in the laboratory. In other cases, lung function testing and arterial blood gas analysis instrumentation come to the fore. For some cases however, a visual image of the patient is required to complete the diagnosis and this is most often provided by an x-ray, MRI scan or CT scan. In Australia, we are fortunate to also have a network of hospital radiography departments equipped with the latest medical cyclotrons and there is even a world-class synchrotron operated by ANSTO at Clayton.

MRI scanners rely on the principle of magnetic resonance in molecular bonds when they are excited by an electromagnetic field. The stronger the magnetic field, the better the imaging can be; to produce the most intense magnetic field a super-conducting magnet is required. Extreme cold is essential for the metal coil in the magnet to achieve their superconducting properties. This low temperature is achieved with liquid helium, which is the coldest substance available on earth.