Halloween edition: Find out more about our QASPER and SPECTRE phantoms!

October 29, 2021

Ghostly Greetings! This week, in honour of Halloween, our second blog will be dedicated to our very spooky phantoms QASPER and SPECTRE, developed in a haunted workshop somewhere in the U.K to address the need for standardization and quantification in MRI…

The impetus for the creation of the QASPER phantom could be said to be due to an EU COST action, named Arterial Spin Labelling (ASL) Initiative in Dementia, back in 2012. QASPER was developed to fulfil the need for a reference standard for Arterial Spin Labeling (ASL) MRI measurements, the lack of which was holding back the COST Action’s efforts to standardize implementations and assess MRI system variability, both necessary to advance the aim of reproducible brain perfusion measurements in patients with dementia. As a phantom with many skills, QASPER has both macroscopic and microscopic flow domains, which are fed by a calibrated pump, making it possible to assess both perfusion and flow at the same time.. It became commercially available in 2018 and as "Casper the friendly ghost", our friendly QASPER is able to help you with:

  • Delivering a constant, known flow rate that is calibrated.
  • Standardizing ASL for perfusion variations related to physiological differences of an individual across time and for person to person differences.
  • Assess whether changes seen in perfusion are patient-related pathophysiological changes, or whether they are due to the MRI hardware.

Multi-site assessment of 2D-EPI pCASL measurements on Philips 3T MRI systems running the same software version. To find out more, click here.

SPECTRE, on the other hand, was created on the basis that finding a commercial, widely available, standardised spectroscopy phantom was like living in a ghost town. Because of this absence, GSP was approached by a Contract Research Organization (CRO) requesting 30 phantoms for a multi-centre trial. This led to the creation of our phantom designed for Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS). Within it is a set of the most commonly found metabolites in the brain, including GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), allowing advanced techniques, such as testing of J-editing sequences, to be performed. This product is currently being used by our CEO and founder Xavier Golay, to ensure reproducibility of the measurement of brain metabolites when assessing the brains of newborn babies suffering from Neonatal Encephalopathy, as a primary outcome measure for the development of new drugs to help save these babies and offer them a chance at a healthy life. Our not so evil SPECTRE offers the following:

  • Quality Assurance (QA) measurements for MRS
  • Monitors reproducibility of MRS acquisitions
  • Evaluation of advanced MRS sequences such as j-editing

Magnetic resonance spectra of the metabolites within a SPECTRE phantom.

To wrap this up, if you would like a special treat then make sure to use the code GSP-SPOOKY-SWEET. This will get you a 10% discount on your final order.
How to use it? Complete the ‘Get a Quote’ form for any product and add the code to the additional information section.
Valid until 19/11/2021.

That’s it from us today, the GSP team wishes you all a spook-tacular Halloween!


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