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Developing New MR Sequences: Good Practice Guide

If you are developing IDEA or ICE sequences for the scanner at the CBU, please follow this practice.

Virus prevention

Viruses have been common on other machines in the scanner room, and we must take precautions to stop these ever being transferred to the scanner.

  • Only use the two USB memory sticks labelled "Scanner only" for transferring sequences to the scanner.
  • Only put these USB sticks into CBU maintained computers that are running Anti-Virus software (NOT the stimulus delivery machines, which do not run antivirus and are often infected).

Scanner settings

  • Don't change any settings on the scanner (e.g., using the ideacmdtool) that will disrupt regular scanning in any way.
  • If you're not sure, ask

Acoustic resonances

Sequences that oscillate the gradients at particular frequencies can set up resonances that can damage the system. Please get in contact with StefanHetzer for checking all new sequences before using them on the Tim Trio. A special tool will be used to analyse the acoustic spectrum of the pulse sequence based on information created during a sequence simulation under the Siemens sequence developer environment IDEA.

Sequence version control

  • Try not to overwrite any sequence that some other developer is using.
  • Don't change any sequence that is already in use (even in a way that improves it) without being absolutely sure none of the users will have a problem. I would suggest only allowing users to use "releases" of software, and not deleting earlier releases as new ones come along. A suggested naming convention is EPI_ISSS_r01, EPI_ISSS_r02 and so on
  • Keep users of your sequence, and the wiki record, updated so that everyone is aware of the strengths/pitfalls/versions of your sequences as you discover them.
  • Keep the radiographers aware of new sequences and releases

Software upgrades

  • In advance of any scanner software upgrade, work out whether it will break your sequence (probably!) and then alert your users that the sequence will stop working on this date.
  • Try to make upgrades available when practical.

Working in the facility - local rules

  • Don't ever go in the magnet room unless there is a radiographer or scanning buddy (who must have done the safety course) also in the facility.
  • Don't ever put a human volunteer in the scanner without a radiographer present
  • Read the SOPs