A Minneapolis company that specializes in MRI technology, Steady State Imaging, is being acquired by GE Healthcare.

Steady State Imaging sells software for installation on existing MRI machines to detect tendons, ligaments and other tissues that can't be seen in conventional scans.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

CEO Danny Cunagin said the sale to GE Healthcare will help the company commercialize the technology, which is licensed from the University of Minnesota. "It was really the strategy from day one, to cross this bridge to get to where we are," Cunagin said.

GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric, said in a news release that the acquisition supports its initiative "to measurably reduce cost, improve quality and increase access to technology for more people."

Steady State Imaging has five employees. Its technology, called the SWIFT method, was developed by a team led by Michael Garwood at the U's Center of Magnetic Resonance Research.

The method sends a series of radio frequency pulses that switch back and forth from transmit to receive, allowing bone, tendon and cartilage to be visible in an MRI. Typical MRI scans sends all frequencies at once, causing some tissues not to appear.

Cunagin and Troy Kopischke, the company's president and chief operating officer, led Steady State Imaging starting in August 2008. The company raised $3 million in capital over two and half years. Many of the angel investors were radiologists who offered their expertise to the business.

Wendy Lee • 612-673-1712