Integrated Small Animal Imaging Research Resource

Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy


The 9.4T/30cm MRI Facility was created as part of the basic sciences research within the Department of Radiology, and was later consolidated into the iSAIRR Core.  Our goal is to advance state of the art animal imaging technology at the anatomic and functional level. 

The laboratory provides a wide variety of anatomic and functional imaging protocols to support investigators research. Its state-of-the-art imaging equipment includes:

  • A 9.4 Tesla, 30 cm bore research magnet equipped with a Bruker console with Paravision 6 software. The scanner is capable of a variety of state-of-art experiments including echo-planar imaging, diffusion weighted imaging, magnetization transfer imaging, Time of Flight (TOF) non-contrast bright-blood method for imaging vascular system, and very fast imaging for monitoring contrast media uptake.
  • A positioning system attached to the magnet that uses a motor driven automatic positioning system to simplify positioning for animal throughput in routine applications. The unit includes laser positioning for accurate definition of the region of interest and a control panel with display for very precise positioning.
  • Multiple manufactured and home built coils for imaging a vast number of areas on small animal body, cells, tissues, materials, and phantoms.
  • A well-equipped small-animal surgery area and an electronics laboratory.
  • A Molecular and Physiological Imaging laboratory that the core uses for molecular biology, cell culture, contrast agent development and preparation.
  • Physiological monitoring equipment that measures respiration, blood-pressure, ECG, temperature, and oxygen.
  • A number of fast imaging computers and software programs for image and data analysis.
Upgraded equipment and the 9.4 Tesla console expands and improves the types of imaging the facility can offer. It provides a wide variety of anatomic and functional images including:
  • High resolution (as high as 100 microns in plane) T1 and T2-weighted images
  • Diffusion and Diffusion Tensor images
  • Dynamic contrast enhanced MR images
  • High resolution EPSI for improved anatomic and functional imaging
  • Magnetization Transfer images
  • Spin – tagging and angiograph
  • Time of Flight (TOF) non-contrast bright-blood method for imaging vascular system.
  • A variety of fast imaging methods including echo-planar imaging and fast spin echo imaging
The MRIS Core Facility provides scans for the following:
  • Ex-vivo tissues and specimens
  • Cells
  • Materials, including newly developed contrast agents
  • Animal models of cancer (ie: prostate, mammary, ovary, brain etc)
  • Animal models not involved with cancer (ie: cardiac, brain, pancreas, etc.)
These scans provide the following information:
  • Detailed 3-D anatomy
  • Perfusion
  • Capillary permeability
  • Blood volume
  • Energy metabolism
  • Metabolic markers for cancer
  • Measurements of the apparent diffusion constant
  • T1, T2 measurements


We provide a variety of veterinary services related to iSAIRR imaging projects including:
  • Preparation of animals for MRI experiments
  • Anesthesia and respiration
  • Physiological monitoring
  • Catheter implantation
  • Tumor implantation
For MRI experiments staff will perform the scans for users.
Data analysis can be done upon request for an additional charge.