Edinburgh Preclinical Imaging

MRI

The University boasts a state-of-the-art preclinical MRI facility that is available for collaborative studies with internal and external researchers. It enables the collection of anatomical, functional and dynamic imaging data from living experimental animals, including genetically modified models.

 

Preclinical MRI scanner

Imaging has become a powerful research tool in medicine, enabling the non-invasive detection of biomarkers of disease. Whilst clinical imaging such as CT, MRI and ultrasound is nowadays widespread, the scaling down of these techniques for translational preclinical imaging is less well established.

The University boasts a state-of-the-art preclinical MRI facility that is available for collaborative studies with internal and external researchers. It enables the collection of anatomical, functional and dynamic imaging data from living experimental animals, including genetically modified models. Being embedded within the animal house permits longitudinal in vivo studies generating data that is more powerful than conventional histology alone and satisfies the requirements for reduction and refinement.

The preclinical MRI facility is directed by Professor Ian Marshall, an MR physicist with 20 years’ experience of clinical and preclinical imaging. The facility is managed by Dr Maurits Jansen, a medical biologist with more than ten years’ experience of preclinical imaging and special expertise in cardiac imaging.

Best known for its highly detailed images of soft tissues (such as the brain and liver), MRI is an extremely versatile modality that can also be used to collect dynamic, functional and metabolic information in vivo. Specialised techniques enable the study of fat distribution, brain microstructure and metabolism, brain function and cardiac function. Ex vivo scanning is also possible to achieve the highest possible spatial resolution. The equipment consists of a 7T superconducting scanner that can accommodate mice, rats and rabbits. A range of magnetic field gradients and radiofrequency probes ensures optimum image quality for each application. The system is also fully equipped to measure signals from other NMR sensitive nuclei, in particular Carbon-13, Fluorine-19 and Phosphorus-31. Examples of their use include research into the metabolism of fluorinated drugs, and cellular metabolism using 31P.

Examples of Studies using our MRI Equipment

Facility Head

Professor Ian Marshall

Chair of Magnetic Resonance Physics

  • Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences
  • Brain Research Imaging Centre

Contact details

 

Dr Maurits Jansen

Manager Edinburgh Preclinical Imaging