ARCHIVED - Mobile magnet pulls award-winning team to spotlight

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October 07, 2007— Ottawa, Ontario

The 2007 Federal Partners in Technology Transfer (FPTT) national meeting and awards event in Halifax, Nova Scotia, honoured NRC, an NRC spin-off and a physician – collaborator with an FPTT Excellence in Technology Transfer Award. They received the award for "the successful development, transfer and commercialization of a mobile MRI system for neurosurgical operations." The mobile system, a world first, is "saving lives while reducing post-surgical complications, patient wait times and overall health costs."

Mobile MRI intraoperative system, image courtesy of IMRIS Inc.
Mobile MRI intraoperative system, image courtesy of IMRIS Inc.

FPTT named the NRC Institute for Biodiagnostics (NRC-IBD), IMRIS Inc. and the Seaman Family MR Research Centre / the University of Calgary as the recipients of the FPTT Excellence in Technology Transfer Award.

Developed by NRC-IBD in Winnipeg, the intraoperative system is designed so that the retractable magnet can be moved over a patient at any time before, during or immediately after surgery. IMRIS Inc., a Winnipeg-based start-up created in 1998 to commercialize the system, now employs 84 highly skilled people, and expects to add more than 40 jobs by 2008.

At the early developmental stage, NRC provided space for the company in its Winnipeg incubation facility, as well as scientific and technical expertise needed to develop, install and operate the first system installation at FoothillsHospital, Calgary. Since then, more than 800 neurosurgical procedures have been performed at a number of installations, including hospitals in Calgary, Boston, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and Fort Worth, Texas.

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