High Field MRI

High Field MRI

The Faculty of Medical Sciences operates an actively shielded high field (4.7 Tesla) vertical bore Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner (Bruker Biospec 47/60 VAS).

Services offered

The system can be used for imaging of a range of biological specimens, including functional activation studies of small laboratory animals, complete with full life signs monitoring and full veterinary support (if required, at additional cost), or imaging of post-mortem tissue.

The system is equipped with several coils (Single Channel Head Coils, Surface Coils and C-Coils) for imaging different anatomical locations and we can advise on the design and building of new coils for novel uses. Our particular area of expertise is in imaging brain activity but the system can be used to study a wide range of tissues, particularly where high field strength or good access (38 cm working bore) is required.

We aim to develop novel, non-invasive magnetic resonance techniques to characterise the fMRI signal and investigate how it reflects the underlying information processing function mediated by neuronal activity. The facility we offer is currently used for the characterisation of the BOLD (Blood Oxygen Level Dependent) signal evoked by visual and auditory stimuli (individually and combined), and a range of stimulus presentation techniques and equipment are available for use and development.

Structural imaging can be performed to high resolution (sub-millimetre). The system may also be adapted for diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), although users should be aware of development time for new applications.

Software packages include ParaVision 4.0 platform for MR image acquisition (Bruker), and for functional studies Cortex software and MATLAB are used for synchronized stimulus presentation and data acquisition. Continuous recording of triggers from the scanner, timing, stimulus and behavioural signals are also controlled with Cortex. We are able to offer a full service from project design and data acquisition, through to data analysis.


  • Dr Li Sun, Technical Director
  • Email:
  • Telephone: +44 (0)191 208 7514