Arterial Spin Labelling (ASL) is a non-invasive quantitative MRI technique that is able to detect and monitor progress of a variety of neurological diseases. First developed in the 1980s, its use incurs little additional cost and is able to detect early indications into the state of the brain and provide superior diagnosis. Despite this, it was not routinely used as standard of care due to a lack of harmonisation in MRI technology

Xavier Golay (GSP CEO and Professor of MRI Physics at UCL) recognised the advantages of ASL such as its non-invasive nature and established a pan-European network of collaborators. The summation of this effort was the publication of a “white paper” which was endorsed by 245 scientists, The American Society of Neuroradiology and the American Society of Functional Radiology. 

This white paper was welcomed by major manufacturers Canon Medical Systems, GE Healthcare, Philips Healthcare and Siemens Healthineers) who aligned their products to the methods set out by this research. Collectively they are responsible for the sale of over 90% of MRI machines globally and credit their increase in sales of ASL harmonised software to this as well as “allowing them to bring products to market with greater ease”. 

During the reference period Gold Standard Phantoms sold 15 QASPER phantoms based on this research to organisations and institutions such as Canon Medical Systems and Johns Hopkins University across the globe (Australia, Asia, North America and Europe). 

In the USA which accounts for approximately half the global ASL market, some private practices use ASL as standard care. Multiple clinicians cite the white paper as having a key impact and allowing them to use ASL in all primary brain tumour protocols and over 90% of routine neurological scanning. That paper has also allowed ASL to become a key part of rapid  stroke protocol to identify at risk tissue leading to improved patient diagnosis and treatment where ASL was used in less than 5% prior to 2015.  

Since the publication of the white paper, the number of clinical trials using ASL has doubled. It has thus streamlined the process for the development of novel therapies in neurological diseases. As for our QASPER phantom, it remains crucial to ensuring MRI calibration to provide accurate and reproducible results. 

Click here for more information on QASPER.

Watch Prof, Xavier Golay explain the importance of this network below.


Read the full article by UCL here.

Gold Standard Phantoms can’t wait to see you at The Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) annual conference in Glasgow at the Scottish Events Campus in the heart of Glasgow from the 19th-23rd of June. Appointments can be made with our team at or come by our booth located at stand 29 to discuss our products.



Earlier this month, our CEO Xavier and CTO Aaron travelled out to the City of Angels to attend the ISMRM’s Perfusion Workshop, at the University of Southern California’s Health Sciences Conference Center. With two years of virtual meeting fatigue setting in, it was truly great to be able to meet our sorely-missed colleagues in the world of perfusion MRI face-to-face!

The conference had some great sessions on recent developments in perfusion imaging, and we particularly liked those on combined structural and haemodynamic imaging using MR Fingerprinting ASL, perfusion imaging using hyperpolarised 13C pyruvate, and advanced techniques to measure blood-brain barrier permeability. Updates were given on the soon-to-be-published ASL “grey papers”, that highlight technical developments since the 2015 ASL White Paper. These include further recommendations for more advanced and varied ASL techniques such as Multi-Delay ASL, Velocity Selective ASL, and Body ASL.

GSP’s contribution to the conference was the presentation of a poster detailing some developments that we have been making to our QASPER perfusion phantom. Here we have done away with the porous material that normally simulates the capillary bed, and instead are making use of the mixing due to vortical flow within the perfusion chamber. Watch this space for more developments…

The Open Science Initiative in Perfusion Imaging (OSIPI) also gave an update on their activities, including preliminary results from the ASL Challenge, which aims to characterise the variability of CBF quantification arising from different image processing software pipelines, by inviting challenge entrants to analyse both population based and synthetically generated digital reference object data and submit the results. The synthetic DRO was created using GSP’s very own open-source digital reference object software, ASLDRO. A variety of programming languages and processing tools were used in the submissions, unsurprisingly leading to variation in the final results, and emphasising the importance of using tools such as digital reference objects when creating analysis software.

It wasn’t all hard work, the local organising committee planned an excursion to Griffith Park and Observatory. Despite being caught in a (rare for LA) rain shower, we persevered and made it to the top of Mount Hollywood where the view was incredible.

We are pleased to announce that Gold Standard Phantoms has been selected to take part in the 2022 P4 Precision Medicine Accelerator Programme. This six-month programme, led by University College London and Capital Enterprise, creates a new and unique ecosystem to facilitate the scale and adoption of precision medicine SMEs by providing access to unparalleled expertise, key partnerships and new connections. 

We are delighted to be joining both P4 and P4SY (dedicated programme targeting South Yorkshire) 2022 cohorts and will be using this opportunity to expand Gold Standard Phantom’s reach in local and national healthcare ecosystems. In particular, we are keen to establish a business trading address in the North of England as well, and our participation in the P4SY programme provides us with the perfect opportunity to achieve this goal.

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