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TopSpin Medical Inc.

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Several start-up companies are investigating a variety of new technologies to identify vulnerable plaque using, for example thermography, infrared, and optical coherence tomography. But the founder of TopSpin Medical believed that a technology already existed with the capability of differentiating lipid-rich from fibrotic tissue: magnetic resonance imaging. TopSpin has developed a system that creates a local magnetic field-inside a patient with a catheter-and creates an MR image. What's more, having the catheter close to the target tissue eliminates the motion artifacts that conventional external MRI systems experience when imaging pulsating coronary arteries.

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Magnetic Moment

In terms of medical applications magnetic resonance imaging could serve, the modality is still underused, and that means a large, untapped growth opportunity for the entrenched large manufacturers that dominate the industry with an installed base of capital equipment. Small companies have a role to play as well, with adjunctive technologies that serve the large players, or in niches too small for the multi-billion dollar players to notice.

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