The 32-channel SQUID system described here is used for diagnosing heart disease by measuring the x and y components of the cardiac magnetic field. To detect a magnetic field parallel to the body surface, it uses a compact hybrid superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) gradiometer consisting of a planar pickup coil (fabricated using thin-film techniques) and a square double-washer dc-SQUID having large voltage-flux transfer function. The SQUIDs are operated in a flux-locked mode using simple readout circuits connected directly to the preamplifier without additional positive feedback. The system is installed in a magnetically shielded room in a hospital. A low noise characteristics lower than 10 ft/√Hz in a white noise is obtained in the hospital. Examples of tangential magnetocardiogram (MCG) measurements presented here show that the MCG obtained using this gradiometer makes it easy to visually estimate the electrophysiological behavior of the heart.
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