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Fiber optic temperature Sensor Applications for Magnetic Resonance Imaging

posted by Rugged Monitoring on 2020-03-17

For decades, the medical industry has adopted and leveraged on the advantages of fiber optic sensors in temperature measurement. Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a technique used by medical experts in radiology to scan and see the image of an individual’s anatomy. Furthermore, Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan machines are used within a high magnetic field environment where radio waves and magnetic gradients are used to form images of organs in the human body. With the harsh electromagnetic field environment of MRI, it is certain that conventional temperature sensors (Thermocouples, Thermistors, RTDs) will be difficult and almost impossible to use. Thus, Gallium Arsenide fiber optic temperature sensors have been developed to function appropriately and meet the growing demand for temperature measurement devices in MRI machines.

Why Temperature Monitoring in MRI Scanning?

There are patients who can't or will be unable to convey or utilize the caution button during an MRI session, and such patients will require support. Many of these patients include neonatal and pediatric patients, calmed or anesthetized patients, handicapped and apathetic patients. Other patients comprise of those with extreme lethargies, mental issue, weakened physiological capacities, basically sick or high-chance, creating responses to different media, and patients with embedded pacemakers. 

Even though patients are liable to encounter claustrophobic nervousness observed inside an MRI machine, many patients require checking and support during the MRI procedure. This is where temperature measurement comes in play to help monitor the Magnetic resonance imaging procedure to ensure safety and accuracy.

Importance of Fiber Optic Temperature Monitoring in MRI

The importance of fiber optic temperature monitoring in MRI cannot be overemphasized. It is evident when compared to conventional sensors like Thermocouple, for instance, placing a metal component that is susceptible to electromagnetic (EM) field can prompt swirl flows in these components and cause them to become heated up. This, thus, can cause skin burn/irritation in patients. Moreover, metal components inside an MRI scanner influence the conveyance of the EM field and could, along these lines, weaken the picture quality. Fiber-optic sensors transmit signals utilizing optical filaments, furnishing them with resistance to EM fields.

Designing Gallium Arsenide optical fiber sensors for MRI application

When looking to adopt a temperature monitoring sensor, Gallium Arsenide is the best fit for MRI, because it’s insusceptibility from electromagnetic fields that permits, safety, zero influence on image quality, and keeping up unaltered sensors' functionalities.In addition, the materials used to create the sensing part and cables are immune to the high magnetic fields inside the MR-scanner, which is a critical factor for the safeguarding the patient. The sensor design is structured to help enhance the safety of Patients undergoing MRI in situations where magnetically attracted metals become harmful projectiles that can damage the machine or affect patient/operator.  

Rugged Monitoring have two optical fiber temperature measurement sensors (LSENSB 0.4mm and LSENSP 0.7mm) that offer impressive performance when applied to MRI. These technologies can be used where sedation or anaesthesia is necessary, special category patients are undergoing MRI, safety of Patients is paramount interventional procedures, and MRI based Research on Animals.  

Advantages of using GaAs Fiber Optic Temperature Sensing

  • Immune to Magnetic Field on MRI: The use of Gallium Arsenide fiber optic temperature sensing provides immunity to magnetic field in the MRI suite. For safety and precautionary measures, it is advised to use this sensing technology.
  • Fast Response (< 200 ms):  Gallium arsenide speeds up the real time response with accurate thermal profiling.Smaller Size and Intrinsically Safe: The smaller size helps in a minimal invasion and are easy to use and handle Sensors
  • Higher Accuracy (±0.2 ⁰C): Our technology offers high accuracy.
  • Wider Measurement Range (-270 ⁰C to +250 ⁰C)


Gallium Arsenide fiber optic sensors are adequate for most medical applications, especially when such an application involves a patient having contact with the electromagnetic intrusion.

Fiber Optic Temperature sensors have proved to be the only feasible technology for monitoring temperatures for medical scanning applications that used MRI, CT and PAT scans. Being immune to high magnetic and radiation fields these sensors provide the best results for doctors and patients. The sensors are being used by MRI/CT/PAT scan manufacturers, and testing laboratories globally. 

Since optical temperature sensors are free from metal components, they are completely invulnerable to the EM radiation utilized in MRI and cause no impedance, we at Rugged monitoring have continued to innovate and improve on the quality of all fiber optic sensors configured and manufactured for clients in the medical industry. 

For more inquiries, visit www.ruggedmonitoring.com.