Newsletter 12-2017

20th December 2017

Introduction Bianca Linssen, MRI Operations & Support Technician

I have worked as a MRI technician for 17 years at Zuyderland hospital in Sittard. During my work as a Radiographer and Ultrasound assistant, I’ve developed an interest in specializing more in medical imaging. For the last 6 years, I have been the coordinator of the MRI unit. I was responsible for keeping MRI protocols up-to-date, developing safety protocols and supervise the MRI students.  At the Zuyderland hospital we scanned research protocols for Prof. Dr. Hupperts. I had to keep in touch with the biotechnology companies and the Multiple Sclerosis research department, to make sure the scans were accurately executed.

As an MRI technologist, Scannexus is for me the chance to bring my knowledge to a higher level. I'm very excited to get acquainted with the latest techniques and to put together beautiful projects. 
As a Support Staff Member I will assist researchers in gaining access to world-leading Ultra-High-Field MRI scanners and this will be combined with dedicated customer-focused operational support, and I will serve as a liaison between the expertise of our clinical and technical networks. I am grateful that I am now able to broaden my horizons at Scannexus. Not only in brain-related research, but also focusing on other parts of the body, as the campus is going to expand the research- and business possibilities to a broader range of the body. 

Collaboration with AMRA

Scannexus and AMRA have joined forces. AMRA, the international leader in body composition analysis, announced a partnership with us. The partnership was confirmed with official signatures of the collaboration agreement and a full-day AMRA introduction seminar to the Brightlands Maastricht Health Community.
Together with AMRA we offer something new to the research community: the ability to translate a 6-minute whole body MRI scan into precise, 3D-volumetric fat and muscle measurements using our scanners. This is good news for researchers in the Netherlands, including Maastricht and surrounding clinical research centers, as AMRA® Profiler Researcher makes it possible to understand metabolic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes.

Ultra-High-Field MR imaging provides new levels of insights into human anatomy and function, opening up a range of possibilities with implications for medical diagnosis and treatment. Using AMRA’s tool, AMRA® Profiler Research, researchers can now quantitatively measure fat and muscle tissue content using the same MRI scanners. We are the perfect partner for this, as we have three (Ultra)-High-Field MRI scanners used intensively for research. 

The collaboration brings the following advantages for both Scannexus and AMRA: 

  • Scannexus, world-leading Ultra-High-Field MRI facility based in Maastricht Netherlands, incorporates AMRA into service offering for researchers
  • AMRA partners with Scannexus, thus strengthening academic relationships and clinical research opportunities in Europe
  • Precise measurement of fat and muscle tissue highly valuable to researchers focusing upon metabolic disease, such as obesity and diabetes.

The CEO of AMRA (Advanced MR Analytics AB) Tommy Johansson came to Maastricht especially for the signing. 
“The collaboration with Scannexus would bring AMRA, a research-based company, closer to the center of excellence in Human Biology, NUTRIM and other clinics at Maastricht UMC+ and in the Netherlands. This would add to the understanding of body composition and risk profiling of metabolic diseases.”

Scannexus’ CEO, Albert Scherpbier, responded that the bundling of strengths will allow them to open up a new market.
“The partnership with AMRA makes it possible to get scan results produced at Scannexus and Maastricht UMC+ to researchers much faster. Researchers now have one point of contact for assistance with their research.”

Scannexus visited the ESMRMB in Barcelona

Scannexus team members Esther Steijvers and Christopher Wiggins attended the 2017 conference of the European Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology (ESMRMB), held in Barcelona. This small but lively meeting was full of interesting talks. Work at Scannexus appeared several times, and Chris Wiggins presented the study by Jurgen Peerlings investigating the geometrical distortions in 7T MRI images and how they relate to radiotherapy treatment planning. 

The ESMRMB conference was particularly engaged in encouraging scientific discussions. As part of this, there were debate sessions with topics such as “Quantitative Relaxation Time Measurements: Boom or Bust?” and “What is the Future of Contrast Agents in MRI?”. The additional poster session of ‘views’ was the ideal setting for Chris Wiggins to present his suggestions for applying Intervention Mapping – a method developed in Maastricht for developing public health programs – to MRI development.

Scannexus at RSNA Chicago

Scannexus has successfully joined the 103rd annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), with this year’s theme ‘explore, invent, transform’.

RSNA is the world largest Radiology conference and was held from November 26th till December 1st in Chicago. RSNA convenes radiology professionals from around the globe to gather knowledge through educational courses, explore the latest innovations presented by technical exhibitors, discover ground-breaking research from scientific paper presentations, and participate in networking opportunities.

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