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SARA Fetal MEG

Superconducting Quantum Interference Device Array for Reproductive Assessment

Developed with significant support from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Superconducting Quantum Interference Device Array for Reproductive Assessment (SARA) is a unique scanning device developed at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) that can detect fetal brain activity in response to flashes of light transmitted through the mother’s abdomen. With refinement, their technique may help physicians detect and prevent fetal brain damage resulting from maternal hypertension, diabetes and other conditions.

The UAMS device uses fetal magnetoencephalography (fMEG) to detect minute-magnetic field fluctuations in the fetus. During the examination, the pregnant woman sits against a concave shield that covers her abdomen. More than 100 sensors obtain three-dimensional data from the fetus and the uterus – without employing needles or any other invasive instruments. It is the first instrument for simultaneous recording of multiple physiologic signals from a woman’s uterus. fMEG technology has been in use for 30 years for adult brain scans, but UAMS is the first medical center to adapt the technology for fetuses.