- Volume 22 Issue 4
Heart consists of myocardium cells and the electrophysiological activity of the cells generate magnetic fields. By measuring this magnetic field, magnetocardiogram (MCG), functional diagnosis of the heart diseases is possible. Since the strength of the MCG signals is weak, typically in the range of 1-10 pT, we need sensitive magnetic sensors. Conventionally, superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUID)s were used for the detection of MCG signals due to its superior sensitivity to other magnetic sensors. However, drawback of the SQUID is the need for regular refill of a cryogenic liquid, typically liquid helium for cooling low-temperature SQUIDs. Efforts to eliminate the need for the refill in the SQUID system have been done by using cryocooler-based conduction cooling or use of non-cryogenic sensors, or room-temperature sensors. Each sensor has advantage and disadvantage, in terms of magnetic field sensitivity and complexity of the system, and we review the recent trend of MCG technology.
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