The 4-D Company Closed its Doors
March 16, 2009 (HE28). 4-D Neuroimaging, formerly known as Biomagnetic Technologies (BTI) and originally known as S. H. E. Corporation, was founded by John Wheatley and others in 1970. It was the first superconducting electronics company worldwide, and one of the main cradles of a whole generation of scientists and engineers, who devoted their pursuits to this new field. Some of them in turn formed other US companies or originated national efforts, as was the case of O. V.Lounasmaa in Finland.
The S.H.E. Corporation was originally formed to produce products based on the technologies of superconducting devices (essentially SQUIDs) and ultra-low-temperature cryogenics. Subsequently, the company decided to limit its focus to biomagnetism in 1984. Raising capital from private investors as well as the public stock market, BTI and 4-D developed biomagnetometers which evolved from a single channel analog device to the most recent 248 channel whole-head magnetometers packaged with shielded rooms, data acquisition and processing systems, and auxiliary stimulus equipment suitable for operation in a clinical hospital setting.
Over the years, company efforts for new product development as well as for the development of clinical applications of biomagnetic measurements were made possible by the continued financial support of visionary investors who anticipated the emergence of significant widespread clinical use of these devices. However, owing to the recent worldwide financial turmoil, in February, 2009, 4-D was unable to raise the additional investment capital required to continue operations and was forced to close its doors on February 13. It filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on February 17. A chapter in the history of superconducting electronics and biomagnetism is thus closed.