Newcastle Preclinical In Vivo Imaging Facility

Varian 7 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Varian 7 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging

The pre-clinical Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) facility is based on the Health Innovation Neighbourhood. We have a Varian 7 Tesla (T), 31cm horizontal bore system, with a Varian Direct Drive console and 4 receiver channels.

One of the main advantages of MRI is its capability of producing highly detailed images of soft tissues. MRI is an extremely versatile imaging modality that can be utilised to collect dynamic, functional and metabolic information in vivo.

MRI techniques

The 7T MRI scanner offers a broad range of imaging and spectroscopy techniques including:

  • dynamic contrast enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI)
  • cardiac imaging
  • magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS)
  • diffusion and perfusion MRI
  • functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
  • MR angiography (MRA)
  • anatomic imaging (T1/T2/Proton-Density weighted imaging)
  • blood flow and blood oxygen measurements (BOLD EPI methods)

The 7T MRI is equipped with a range of specialised coils for pre-clinical imaging including:

  • 72mm, 39mm and 30mm i.d. quadrature birdcage coils for whole body imaging
  • dedicated brain imaging coil
  • 31P surface coil
  • 19F surface coil
  • 13C surface coil

Potential applications of MRI

  • Oncology
    • tumour growth
    • response to treatment
  • Cell tracking
  • Development of MRI contrast agents
  • Neuroscience and neurodegenerative disorders
  • Pharmaceuticals
    • drug discovery
    • pharmokinetics (PK)
    • absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME)
  • Infectious and inflamatory diseases
  • Cardiology
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Metabolic studies

Animal monitoring

The MRI is completed with a small animal (SA) instrument which allows image gating.

Additionally, the system can simultaneously monitor and record ECG, respiration and blood pressure. Animals are heated by air with a heater system. Temperature is monitored using a fiber optic thermometry system.