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Alcor CT Scanner

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:57 pm
by jordansparks
Alcor just announced that they purchased a CT scanner. It's about time. They chose a Vimago, which I think was an outstanding choice. Because it's sold to veterinarians instead of physicians, the cost is able to be lower. Surprisingly, the resolution is 10x that of other similar medical CT scanners, which I'm still trying to figure out. In any case, I'm jealous.
I'm also curious who's going to operate it. Because the radiation on these kinds of devices is low, and because there are no living patients, they might be able to work something out with state regulators so that an unqualified person could still operate it. Another approach would be to hire a veterinarian to operate it.
When they listed out what they might use it for, they omitted the single most important reason for a having a CT scanner. The primary purpose of a CT scanner is to quantitatively validate adequate cryoprotectant concentration throughout the entire brain prior to subzero cooling. The closest they came to that was "visualizing perfusion in real time", but that's really not it at all. It's a quantitative measurement, not just a visualization, and this is a really important distinction. This lack of understanding concerns me, but at least they are sort of moving in the right direction.

Re: Alcor CT Scanner

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:22 am
by Mati_Roy
Where was it announced? (I can't find it)

Re: Alcor CT Scanner

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:17 am
by jordansparks
Hmm. They don't seem to have it on their website yet. It was in an Alcor newsletter sent out to members by email, which someone then kindly forwarded to me. I'll post it here for now, and then replace the text with a link, once they have it up:

by Max More

The first major acquisition paid for by the remarkable and much appreciated $5,000,000 research donation is a CT scanner. The Vimago High Definition CT arrived at Alcor on December 19. The resolution of the Vimago High Definition CT (HD CT) system is as high as 0.09mm x 0.09mm x 0.09mm (isotropic voxels, vastly higher spatial resolution than conventional CT).

As Steve Graber, Alcor's Chief Technical Coordinator wrote: "A big step forward for the Alcor CT Scan analysis program last year was the development of a CT color lookup table that allows us to now determine the overall perfusion level for each Alcor patient. This is the first time that we've been able to 'look inside' each patient's brain and assess perfusion success.

The list of uses for CT at Alcor range from interventional use, such as during a surgical procedure to ensure that cannulas are properly placed, performing before/after comparisons, visualizing perfusion of the brain and surrounding tissue in real-time, as well as for performing quantitative analyses of all of the past cryopreservations performed at Alcor over the years and into the future. This type of research can lead to a better understanding of the roles that time, distance, specific cause of death, surgical time and method, etc. have on the perfusability of the patient. With that knowledge we should be able to better understand how to improve our medical response to our members in a real and significant way." Along with all of Steve's work on this, Brian Wowk deserves mention for ensuring that this unit was the correct fit for us.

Referring to the photo, Steve Graber says: "Sharp eyed observers may notice a second (portrait) computer monitor in that shot. That is my new touch-screen interface to our recently updated LabView-based Perfusion Process Control system, and it's mated to a tiny, fanless, core i7 NUC style PC and a 70" 4K wall-mounted graphing and info monitor. We just got this up and running on our existing O.R. based 'neuro' system. On the same day the scanner was delivered actually."