Development of Magnetocardiograph without Magnetically Shielded Room Using High-Detectivity TMR Sensors

Koshi Kurashima, Makoto Kataoka, Takafumi Nakano, Kosuke Fujiwara, Seiichi Kato, Takenobu Nakamura, Masaki Yuzawa, Masanori Masuda, Kakeru Ichimura, Shigeki Okatake, Yoshitaka Moriyasu, Kazuhiro Sugiyama, Mikihiko Oogane, Yasuo Ando, Seiji Kumagai, Hitoshi Matsuzaki, Hidenori Mochizuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A magnetocardiograph that enables the clear observation of heart magnetic field mappings without magnetically shielded rooms at room temperatures has been successfully manufactured. Compared to widespread electrocardiographs, magnetocardiographs commonly have a higher spatial resolution, which is expected to lead to early diagnoses of ischemic heart disease and high diagnostic accuracy of ventricular arrhythmia, which involves the risk of sudden death. However, as the conventional superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetocardiographs require large magnetically shielded rooms and huge running costs to cool the SQUID sensors, magnetocardiography is still unfamiliar technology. Here, in order to achieve the heart field detectivity of 1.0 pT without magnetically shielded rooms and enough magnetocardiography accuracy, we aimed to improve the detectivity of tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) sensors and to decrease the environmental and sensor noises with a mathematical algorithm. The magnetic detectivity of the TMR sensors was confirmed to be 14.1 pTrms on average in the frequency band between 0.2 and 100 Hz in uncooled states, thanks to the original multilayer structure and the innovative pattern of free layers. By constructing a sensor array using 288 TMR sensors and applying the mathematical magnetic shield technology of signal space separation (SSS), we confirmed that SSS reduces the environmental magnetic noise by −73 dB, which overtakes the general triple magnetically shielded rooms. Moreover, applying digital processing that combined the signal average of heart magnetic fields for one minute and the projection operation, we succeeded in reducing the sensor noise by about −23 dB. The heart magnetic field resolution measured on a subject in a laboratory in an office building was 0.99 pTrms and obtained magnetocardiograms and current arrow maps as clear as the SQUID magnetocardiograph does in the QRS and ST segments. Upon utilizing its superior spatial resolution, this magnetocardiograph has the potential to be an important tool for the early diagnosis of ischemic heart disease and the risk management of sudden death triggered by ventricular arrhythmia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number646
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan


  • TMR sensors
  • environmental noise
  • magnetocardiography
  • projection operation
  • signal space separation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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