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Small-Animal Magnetic Resonance Facility

The Small Animal MR Facility includes a Bruker 9.4-T (400-MHz) MRI system, an Agilent/Varian DirectDrive 4.7-T (200-MHz) MRI system, and an Agilent/Varian DirectDrive 11.74-T (500-MHz) MRI system, all housed in on-grade adjoining suites.  The magnetic field strengths of BMRL scanners are substantially higher than generally encountered in clinical systems, typically 0.5 – 3.0 T.  Advantages of high field are chiefly related to signal-to-noise ratio gains, which translate into improved spatial or temporal resolution for imaging and improved accuracy of resonance amplitude and frequency estimates for spectroscopy.  Immediately adjacent to the MR scanner bays are animal holding and procedure rooms, a wet chemistry lab, an electronics lab and a climate-controlled room holding computer server and data archival devices.

The following links provide additional information about Small-Animal MR Facility resources:

MRI Scanners - The 11.74-T Agilent MRI scanner employs a 26-cm clear bore diameter horizontal Magnex magnet.  The console is multinuclear and dual channel. High-performance, actively shielded Magnex gradient/shim coil assemblies of 15- and 8-cm inner diameter are driven by Copley Controls (Canton, MA) high-performance gradient amplifiers (~ 350 V and 200 A) providing ~30 and 120 gauss/cm respectively per axis with rise times of ~200 µs.

The 4.7-T Agilent MRI scanner is also multinuclear and dual channel, employing horizontal Oxford Instruments (Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK) magnets of 40- cm clear bore diameter. The 40-cm system utilizes a current generation, actively shielded Resonance Research Inc. gradient/shim coil assembly of 11.5-cm, driven by Oy International Electric Company (IEC; Helsinki, Finland) model A-240 amplifiers (300 V and 300 A) amplifiers; 67.5 gauss/cm is achievable with a rise time of ~120 µs.

The 9.4-T Bruker MRI scanner, newly installed in the fall of 2020, has a 20-cm clear bore, is multinuclear, and has four receiver channels.  The gradient system has a 11.4-cm inner diameter, is driven by IEC amplifiers (500 V / 300 A), and is capable of delivering 66 gauss/cm with a rise time of 70 µs.  Notably, this scanner includes a 4-channel array mouse brain CryoProbe which offers substantially improved SNR over traditional RF coils. 

(Note Regarding Vendor Identification:  Agilent (Santa Clara, CA; USA), Magnex Scientific Ltd. (Yarnton, North Oxford; UK), and Varian Inc. (Palo Alto, CA; USA) were originally separate companies.  Varian purchased Magnex in 2004 and Agilent purchased Varian in 2010. To avoid confusion, we employ herein a nomenclature that identifies the current parent company, Agilent, and the commercial unit, Varian or Magnex, historically associated with the specific equipment item under discussion.)

RF Coils
Animal Procedure Support
Wet Chemistry and Electronic Support
Computers, Data Storage, and Internet
Computational Software
Data Archival and Backup

Apply for MIR Pilot Studies Funding

Small-Animal MR Imaging Facility Scheduler