Optically Pumped Magnetometers (OPM) Lab


CHBH Optically Pumped Magnetometers (OPM) Lab Lead:
Dr Anna Kowalczyk

In the optically pumped magnetometer (OPM) laboratory we are developing new sensors to be used for magnetoencephalography (MEG).

The sensors are based on quantum technology and can detect magnetic fields generated by human brain activity. The sensors are advantageous to conventional SQUID-MEG sensors as they do not require liquid Helium and can be placed close to the human head. In 2020/21, we will have a dedicated OPM facility including a new magnetically shielded room and state-of-the-art peripherals. This facility will be used for further developing OPM technology as well as research on cognitive and clinical research. The OPM facility is part of a collaboration between the CHBH, the School of Physics and Astronomy and the UK Quantum Technology Hub.

The ambition of this project is to go beyond the limitations of current techniques for measuring connectivity in the human brain by developing a new technology that combines transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with OPMs. Our project will make it possible to focally excite one part of the brain and measure the response in another part using the new type of OPM sensors. This will directly measure connectivity in the brain and assess how the connectivity changes with different brain networks engaged in diverse tasks. Finally we will be able to determine abnormal connectivity associated with various cognitive and neurological problems.

For further information, please contact CHBH OPM Lab Lead - Dr Anna Kowalczyk

External researchers/collaborators
If you are an external researcher and would like to use CHBH facilities, please identify a suitable collaborator from the Principal Investigator lists located on our CHBH Research Theme pages, and contact them directly with your proposal. They will then review the scope of the proposal, costings, and modality availability, and advise on a potential collaboration.