Newcastle Preclinical In Vivo Imaging Facility

Bruker 4.7 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Centre for Translational Systems Neuroscience (CTSN)

The Medical School has a pre-clinical Centre for Translational Systems Neuroscience (CTSN) facility. This Bruker 4.7 Tesla (T), 38 cm bore is ideally suited for vertical/upright scanning of behaving NHPs.

This scanner is a part of an international initiative working towards NHP MRI open data (PRIME-DE: Milham et al., Neuron, 2018; Milham, Petkov et al., Neuron 2020). We are a key site providing high-quality and high-resolution structural and functional MRI data in behaving NHPs as an indispensable translational model for understanding the human brain in health and disease. The scanner has also supported contracts, such as for scanning soft tissue at high resolution, and national and international collaborations.

MRI is an extremely versatile imaging modality that can be utilised to collect dynamic, functional and metabolic information in vivo. The 4.7T and 7T pre-clinical systems are also currently being developed for smaller NHP scanning, in collaboration with University of Cambridge.

MRI techniques

The 4.7T MRI scanner offers a broad range of imaging techniques including:

  • Anatomic imaging (T1/T2/Proton-Density weighted imaging)
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
  • Diffusion-weighted imaging
  • Resting-state fMRI
  • Animal welfare monitoring
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS)
  • Blood oxygen measurements (BOLD EPI methods)
  • High-resolution laminar-resolved fMRI

 The 4.7T MRI is equipped with a range of specialised coils for pre-clinical imaging including:

  • 4 and 8 channel phased-array imaging coils
  • Array of transmit/receive coils
  • GRAPPA reconstruction for protocols using parallel acceleration
  • Presentation of auditory and visual stimuli
  • Eye tracking system, lever press system, reward delivery system
  • Flexible interface for experimental setups 

Potential applications of MRI

  • Neuroscience and neurodegenerative disorders
  • Optogenetics effects visualisation (opto-fMRI)
  • Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)
  • Deep brain stimulation visualisation (es-fMRI)
  • Transcranial ultrasound neurostimulation (collaboration with University of Oxford)
  • Musculoskeletal disorders


For any further information on the Bruker 4.7T MRI system please contact Dr Balezeau (