The 7 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system located at Barrow Neurological Institute has a 30-cm bore with a 200-mm gradient set (20 G/m) and a high-power 116-mm gradient insert (60 G/m). We have multiple acquisition coils to suit a variety of applications (brain, body, etc.) along with 31P and 13C coils for multinuclear spectroscopy.
The 3 field MRI located on the ASU campus is the first MRI system in the United States that is capable of imaging at 3 Tesla, 7 Tesla and 9.4 Tesla. This system provides incredible flexibility in developing and designing state of the art imaging methods in fields strengths ranging from clinical to the highest field MRI in the state of Arizona.
Both of the ASU and Barrow magnets are equipped with a host of imaging capabilities to meet a variety of scanning needs:
- High-resolution anatomy. The 7T MRI has numerous scans available for visualization and measurement of anatomy. High signal-to-noise and optimized protocols allow precise measurement of anatomical structures with a spatial resolution of less than 100 microns.
- Functional MRI. Over the past three decades, functional MRI (fMRI) has become the most popular method for mapping brain function. Our preclinical MRI is a platform for a range of investigations—from how pharmacologic compounds affect brain function to the quest to better understand the mechanisms underlying fMRI itself.
- Perfusion. The measurement of the effects of perfusion and contrast agents is a valuable tool for examining neuropathologies such as brain tumors and stroke. Contrast agent bolus tracking, relaxivity measurements, and perfusion measurements are some of the methods available to researchers using the Center.
- Diffusion. The 7T MRI has programmed routines for acquiring images weighted for local water diffusion. This feature can be used to characterize disease states such as hypoxic edema associated with vascular stroke. Diffusion Tensor Imaging uses restricted diffusion data to generate images of fiber tracts in the brain.
- Angiography. The visualization of vascular anatomy is important for the study of vascular disease, stenosis, and blood-flow occlusion. High-resolution in vivo imaging of vessels is possible with the use of specialized imaging techniques, contrast agents, or both.
- Cardiac Function. Cardiac disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. The 7T MRI at the Barrow-ASU Center for Preclinical Imaging offers cutting-edge methods for gathering images of the cardiac cycle for in vivo analysis of preclinical cardiac disease models.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging is a nuclear medicine method used to observe metabolic processes in vivo. PET uses radioactive tracers that reflect cellular and metabolic processes in the body such as glucose uptake. This imaging method is used to examine a variety of pathologies including cancer, cardiac disease, inflammation, and neurodegenerative disease.
Computed Tomography uses a series of X-ray images to generate renderings of cross sections of the body. It provides high-resolution images of both soft tissue and bone. It is widely used to evaluate muscle and bone disorders and study pathologies including cardiac disease, tumors, and trauma.
- Bioluminescence and Florescence
The Spectrum system allows noninvasive longitudinal measurement of disease states, cell trafficking, and gene expression patterns. Both fluorescent and bioluminescent reporters can be imaged with this system as well as with 2- and 3-dimensional tomography.
- Procedure Rooms
Two procedure rooms equipped with medical gasses, fume hoods, and basic laboratory equipment (e.g., scales, pipettes) are available for study preparation. Holding rooms are also available for a per diem fee.