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30 Dec 20. New preclinical MRI scanner

We are delighted to hear that the new 9.4T magnet for the preclinical MRI scanner has successfully been installed for Edinburgh Preclinical Imaging.

The new 9.4T magnet for the preclinical MRI facility being lifted by crane into place.
The new 9.4T magnet for the preclinical MRI facility being lifted by crane into place.

Over the past 3 years there has been a huge amount of work & investment advancing the preclinical MRI scanner capabilities at the Bioquarter Campus, University of Edinburgh.

The 14-year-old, ageing & unsupported Agilent scanner has been upgraded in two phases:

  • Firstly in summer 2018, the electronics were upgraded to the latest Bruker Biospec Neo console;
  • Then, most recently, the old Agilent 7T magnet was been replaced by a new Bruker 9.4T magnet.

Following months of planning, the Edinburgh Preclinical Imaging team was almost waylaid by COVID-19, but the team finally embarked on this extensive magnet replacement infrastructure project in October 2020 over a 5-week period.

This major investment in a new 9.4T Bruker Biospec AVANCE Neo MRI scanner,  was made possible by grants totaling £2.1m from the:

This equipment will bring many enhancements & advances to the preclinical MRI capabilities within Edinburgh Preclinical Imaging.

The new scanner is equipped with high performance gradients, multinuclear capability & a range of head & body coils. Brain coils will enhance high-resolution structural imaging (e.g. T1, T2, T2*, FLAIR) & wide-ranging specialist imaging techniques (diffusion tensor, perfusion, permeability & magnetisation transfer imaging, functional MRI, multinuclear spectroscopy, angiographic & flow quantification).

The new 9.4T magnet at its final location in the preclinical MRI suite, now ready for use.
The new 9.4T magnet at its final location in the preclinical MRI suite, now ready for use.

Additionally, we now have access to advanced protocols & software developments for cardiac imaging, whole body imaging & the study of other live organs & disease models across many animal species through their lifespan, along with the ability to scan a large variety of ex vivo specimens.

The magnet field strength upgrade from 7T to 9.4T will also enable higher resolution imaging, better sensitivity, enhanced signal to noise, faster acquisition times & improved 1H-spectroscopy.

Furthermore, the applications, hardware & software support from Bruker, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of preclinical imaging systems, will continue to bring new opportunities to support the vast breadth of imaging research within the Centre for Cardiovascular Science (CVS) & across all other Centres within the College & the wider University, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the preclinical MRI facility into the future.

Already, the team are looking at options to accessorise the new MRI scanner further to meet the requirements for new multimodal imaging capabilities within the UK DRI – watch this space!

A huge well done goes to all stakeholders & everyone who has been involved in this project over the last few years from inception through to completion.

 

 

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We are delighted to hear that the new 9.4T magnet for the preclinical MRI scanner has successfully been installed for Edinburgh Preclinical Imaging.

@EdinUniCVS @EdinburghBQ @BBSRC @wellcometrust @UKDRI