The (TMII) Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute several research imaging facilities: AMRIS (Advanced MRI Suite), ISL (Imaging Science Laboratories), ANVIL (Advanced Neurovascular Imaging Laboratories) and ATRAN8. TMII is responsible for coordinating and executing all research projects performed in these facilities.
A new imaging facility has recently been added to TMII. It consists of a state-of-the-art sequential PET-MRI system and a whole body CT scanner.
The MRI research suite consists of a state-of-the-art FDA approved Philips Achieva 3.0T X-series whole-body MRI scanner. The increased SNR due to the 3T field strength will benefit the BOLD-effect as well as very high resolution structural imaging. This system is equipped with the highest-performance head gradient system on the market with a maximum gradient amplitude of 80mT/m and a slew rate 200mT/m/ms This will reduce susceptibility-based distortions in single-shot EPI due to ultra-short echo-spacing and will benefit both BOLD imaging. This system is running the latest Philips software release (Version 2.6.3) and will have all standard clinical pulse sequences as well as the latest research pulse sequences for BOLD.
The 3T is also equipped with all the peripherals necessary for functional imaging: A visual system with built-in eye tracking (NordicNeuroLab) via a PC equipped with E-Prime (Psychology Software Tools), subject response recording using a fiber optic button system (Psychology Software Tools), AVOTEC audio system, an in-house built olfactometer, a Biopac data acquisition system with an electrodermal activity (GSR100C), a constant current/voltage stimulator (STM100C), an oxygen saturation sensor (OXY100C) and a respiratory effort transducer (RSP100C).
In addition the MRI is integrated with a time-of-flight PET system based on Philips Gemini TF. This PET system is integrated with the 3T MRI for coregistration and attenuation correction. Patients are scanned in both modalities on the same bed without having to move.
ATRAN8 is equipped with its own waiting area, changing room and examination room in addition to dedicated isotope uptake rooms equipped with computer systems for administering uptake tasks to research subjects. It has a shielded dose room with dose calibrator, gamma counter and centrifuge for immediate analysis of plasma samples.
Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging Suite (AMRIS)
Two dedicated MR research systems were installed in March 2002 in the newly constructed Advanced MR Research Suite (AMRIS). The Advanced MR Research Suite of about 2,800 ft2 houses a 1.5 Tesla whole body Siemens Scanner (Sonata), and a 3.0 Tesla Siemens head dedicated scanner Siemens Scanner (Allegra). AMRIS is located in front of the main entrance to Radiology Associates.
In addition to the MR systems, AMRIS includes a patient waiting area, a restroom, lockers and a changing room, a nurse’s station, staff offices, and a small computer area for image viewing and processing.
The research MRI systems are also equipped with a physiological monitoring system (Medrad, Inc.) including ECG, oxygen levels, and end tidal CO2 and blood pressure. An MR compatible animal respirator and anesthesia delivery system are available. A full resuscitation cart is available next to the MR systems.
The Siemens Sonata (1.5T) – MR5
This is a Siemens Sonata 1.5T a whole body1.6 m MR magnet system with a 60cm bore size, actively shielded magnet that support a maximum of 40cm field-of-view. The system has a gradient strength of 40mT/m and a slew rate of 200T/m/s, a 15 kW RF amplifier, and 8 RF preamp channels. This system has the necessary hardware and software to perform basic and clinical studies. This system supports the Syngo software on an NT platform. Several commercial and home-built coils are available.
The Siemens Allegra (3.0T) – MR6
This is a Siemens Allegra 3T head-only research magnet. This system has the necessary hardware and software to perform basic and clinical scans. Gradient hardware consists of a 36 cm I.D. asymmetric gradient coil capable of imaging at 60mT/m with slew rates in excess of 600 T/m/s at a duty cycle of 70 pecrent allowing single shot EPI at a sustained rate of 14 images/second. The system has a 15 kW RF amplifier, and 8 RF preamp channels. This system supports the Syngo software on an NT platform.
The 3T suite is also equipped with dedicated peripherals for functional MRI research:
- Three-channel fiber optic subject’s response buttons with standard mouse interface.
- Scanner initiated trigger for synchronizing stimuli paradigms with MR data acquisition (mouse or TTL).
- In-room LCD projection with rear projection screen. Custom PC based paradigms or standard video stimuli can be presented.
- For the comfort of the patient during the scan, he/she can be watching a video or listening to music.
- PC-based audio stimuli can be presented.
- A computerized 12-channel olfactometer is also available for fMRI in olfaction or memory research.
ANVIL: Advanced Neurovascular Imaging Laboratory
ANVIL consists of a 1,700 square feet of office space and image processing stations. It maintains several networked computer systems and file servers for programming, word processing, slide and video preparation, data and image analyses, processing, review and transfer purposes. The computers include Windows-, Linux-, and Macintosh-based systems, as well Sun and SGI workstations systems. A flat bed scanner, a color wax printer, and a color dye sublimation printer are also available. These systems are used for word processing, data analysis, slide and video preparation and image processing. Computer archival are in forms of RAID systems with more than 5TB of online storage. Additionally, the laboratory has several dedicated image viewing and analyses workstations from Medis, Terarecon, GE Advantage Windows, and Siemens Leonardo. Most of the software we use is locally developed (for diffusion tensor MRI, fMRI, and cardiovascular MRI analyses) and supported. We also have several packages, including Analyze, Matlab, ImageProPlus, Scion, efilm, MEDx including SPM 5, and Brain voyager. We utilize a variety of computer language compilers, including C, C++, and Siemens IDEA.
The laboratory also has access to a 12-processor SGI Power Challenge XL (R10000) managed by the Center for Biomathematical Sciences.
The Imaging Science Laboratories occupy 2,100 square feet and includes the Image Processing Laboratory, the Electronics Laboratory, the Small Animal Laboratory, the MR Microscopy laboratory, and offices. MR Microscopy Laboratory
The laboratory houses the 9.4T (proton resonance at 400MHz) Bruker MR system (installed in January 2000). This superconducting actively shielded magnet system consists of a 8.9cm vertical bore with micro- and mini-imaging capabilities. The gradient coils are actively shielded gradient coils, capable of a maximum gradient strength 20 G/cm or 100 G/cm. Exchangeable RF birdcage resonators with: 38 mm, 30mm, 25 mm, 10 mm inner diameter are available. The RF resonators support user supplied air to maintain animal at physiological temperatures. An animal cradle designed for investigation of laboratory mice is optimized for use in the RF resonators and includes a provision for inhalation anesthesia. Two monitoring units (Bruker and SA Instruments Inc.) for ECG, heart rate, respiration rate, and temperature and for ECG and/or respiration triggering of MR sequences are available. An MR compatible mouse anesthesia delivery system is also available.
A recent addition to ISL is a Bruker 7T biospec system with 30cm bore. It is equipped with the latest Autopac image handling system. It also has two gradient system: one B-GA20S with a high performance gradient power supply to achieve 300mT/m strength and 1200T/m/s slewrates. This gradient can be used with the Circular polarized coil with inner diameter of 154mm for imaging or larger animals. In addition we also have the B-GA12S with 440mT/m strength and 3440 T/m/s slewrate. System is equipped with dediated 4 channel phased array coils for mouse brain and cardiac applications as well as several surface coils for 31P, 13C and 19F applications. Animal support is also available with warming beds for mice and rats and monitoring, ECG trigger and BP monitors.