Monday, 29 November 2021
University of Nottingham spin-out company Cerca Magnetics was named best start-up medtech company at the annual OBN awards.
Cerca Magnetics received the award in recognition of their achievements developing and bringing to market the first commercial, wearable brain MEG device.
The wearable brain imaging system was developed by researchers at the University of Nottingham and since the formation of Cerca Magnetics 14 months ago has already been installed at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto for ground-breaking research into autism, and Young Epilepsy’s diagnostic suite where it is being used to improve how the condition is diagnosed and treated.
The prestigious awards, now in their 13th year, shine a light on companies at all stages of development, recognising inspirational leadership, exciting innovation, novel and exciting approaches to unmet clinical need, outstanding company progression and the delivery of real-life tangible results.
David Woolger CEO of Cerca said: “We’re delighted to have been awarded best start-up. Since we formed the company, we have had so much interest in this system and are delighted to already be working with Sick Kids and Young Epilepsy to improve the lives of children with brain disorders.”
This wearable brain imaging system is the result of years of research by scientists at the University of Nottingham who recognised the need for an alternative to the conventional MEG scanners that are very expensive, cumbersome, and rely on cryogenic sensors which are not viable for use in infants, and require patients to stay extremely still.
The new wearable system is based upon recently developed “quantum” sensors which use the fundamental properties of atoms to sense local magnetic fields. These new sensors, called optically pumped magnetometers or OPMs, do not require cryogenic cooling. They are also extremely small and lightweight (similar to a Lego brick). This means they can be mounted in a helmet which the patient wears. The helmet can adapt to any head shape or size, and because it is lightweight and moves with the head, it is completely motion robust, making this ideal for children and young people.
It’s incredible to see how far the technology has come since our initial experiments in the lab five years ago. Seeing the system commercialised and installed to help children with neurological problems like autism and epilepsy is amazing and we are looking forward to developing and rolling the system out even further in 2022.
More information is available from Professor Matthew Brookes on firstname.lastname@example.org
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Notes to editors:
The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. Ranked 103rd out of more than 1,000 institutions globally and 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2022, the University’s state-of-the-art facilities and inclusive and
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REF 2014. We have
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