A 9.4T scanner for small animal imaging has been developed in our Institute and has taken several incarnations over the years. For the latest developments, see the page of Team Hardware. Two consoles are available for imaging/spectroscopy: a Varian UnityInova console and a unique Siemens console with parallel transmit and receive capabilities (link). The 120mm ID gradient coil (Magnex, Varian, Agilent Technologies) delivers a maximum of 600 mT/m per axis gradient strength. Using isofluorane anaesthesia and vital signs monitoring (e.g. temperature and respiration rate), small rodent experiments can be performed in vivo over several hours in a stable environment for high-resolution imaging.
Animal research enables the comparison of multimodal in vivo imaging (MR, PET, SPECT) with information obtained on histological slices (Nissl/myelin/iron staining, immunocytochemistry, element analysis). We aim to integrate MRI in a multidimensional picture of different pathologies, using collaborations with other teams within our Institute (Brain Tumors) and the Forschungszentrum Jülich, as well as external collaborations.
The animal scanner is an important link in our institute’s translational research endeavours, not only as a tool to investigate animal models of various human diseases, but also as a test bed of high-field imaging methods to be implemented for 9.4T human imaging.