MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

Chief:  Timothy Duong, Ph.D. http://ric.uthscsa.edu/duong/index.htm

The MRI Division of the Research Imaging Institute currently houses five state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners:

1) A Siemens TIM TRIO 3T whole-body MRI (1H only)

2) A Siemens TIM TRIO 3T whole-body MRI (1H and X-nuclide). This scanner will receive an AC88 high-performance head-only gradient insert in Spring 2009

3) A Bruker Biospec 7T MRI scanner.  Bore size is 30 cm diameter, with two gradient inserts: 40G/cm with 12 cm ID, 150G/cm with 6 cm ID.

4) A Bruker Biospec 11.7T MRI. Bore size is 16cm, with a 80 G/cm, 9 cm gradient.

5) A Bruker Pharmascan 7T MRI scanner to be delivered Apr 2009.  Bore size is 16 cm diameter, with a gradient insert of 37 G/cm, 6 cm ID. 

 

Mechanical and electronic workshop: Fully equipped mechanical and electronic workshops for fabrication of RF coils and holders, MRI-compatible equipment, etc. This shop is operated by two engineers.

Animal MRI peripheral equipment: There are various commercial and custom-made RF coils and animal holders.  All necessary equipment to ensure well-being and normal physiology of the animals under study. These include: Mechanical ventilators, gas anesthetic equipments, gas mixers, capnometers (to monitor inhaled O2, CO2 and exhaled CO2, heart rate and respiration rate), MR-compatible oximeters, blood gas machine, feedback-regulated warm water pad, rectal temperature probe, BIOPAC (differential amplifiers and transducers to monitor EKG, blood pressure, heart rate and respiration rate), home-built active trigger boxes, forepaw stimulation, olfactory stimulation equipment, visual stimulation equipment, PC’s for controlling and/or recording. All of these physiological parameters and triggering events can be recorded onto the BIOPAC in real time.

Human MRI Stimulus Presentation Equipment: Stimulus presentation in the MRI can be accomplished in several different ways.  Visual stimulation can be presented by a projector connected to a PC.  The subject can view the projector via a mirror attached to the receiving coil.  In addition, motor behaviors can be video taped.  Auditory stimuli can be presented by high quality head phones to the subjects. Reaction time and responses can be recorded by a button box connected to a PC. Sensory stimulation such as vibration can also be presented.  Extremely versatile stimulus presentation software called E-Prime (Psychology Software Tools, Inc.) is being used. E-Prime is a new graphical experiment generator for the Windows 95/98/ME environment. E-Prime consists of a suite of applications to design, generate, run, collect data, edit and analyze the data.  E-Prime can be triggered by the MRI scanner for event related studies.