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The Translational MRI Research Core of the BIDMC Department of Radiology provides state-of-the-art MRI capabilities for imaging human subjects and potentially large animals as part of research studies. The facility operates a GE Discovery MR750 3T whole-body scanner completely dedicated to research and can provide access to a 1.5T system.
Located in the Ansin Building on BIDMC's East campus, the scanner is FDA cleared for clinical use. In addition to commercial tools for clinical imaging, it has proprietary software including pulse programming environments and reconstruction programs and customizable software and protocols for applications including functional and structural brain imaging, abdominal perfusion and diffusion, muscle functional imaging and spectroscopy are available to users.
We upgraded to the GE Discovery 3T MR750 in the winter of 2016. This new system includes state-of-the-art hardware and software. The scanner is equipped with an optically coupled radiofrequency system for improved signal-to-noise ratio and with high-duty-cycle 50 mT/m gradients at 200 T/m/s slew rate.
The 3T system has high-speed echo planar imaging capabilities. Support for fMRI acquisition and visual and auditory stimulus presentation, diffusion tensor imaging, spectroscopy, and high quality anatomic imaging is available. The system has specialized receiver coils for sensitive imaging of particular anatomy. Additional customized coils can be manufactured in our RF lab. The system also has full broadband capability for multinuclear MRI and MRS, including (F-19, C-13, P-31, and Na-23).
To achieve high homogeneity, the 3T MR750 system is equipped with high order resistive shimming coils as well as super-conducting shimming coils. Additionally, the scanner will use broadband transmission to permit multiple frequency excitation schemes, which are crucial for spectroscopy and multi-nuclear imaging experiments. The GE MR750 system uses Multi-Drive RF transmit, which will improve body imaging by reducing RF transmit non-uniformity and power deposition.
The system will include a 32-channel Head array coil, 16-channel Head Neck Spine array, 32-channel Body Array, 8-Channel Torso Array, Flex Coils in small, medium, and large, and will have the capability to use disposable probes for imaging the prostate, cervix, and colon. Our 3T system will continue to have capabilities for multinuclear MRI and MRS. Through our contract with GE, the system will be continuously updated with new features, hardware, and capability.
Our MRI Research Suite is equipped with a Medrad (Bayer) power injector for contrast administration and Medrad (Bayer) physiologic monitors. Subject monitoring within the magnet includes non-invasive measures of heart rate, blood pressure, pulse-oximetry, end tidal CO2 levels, and ECG recording.
Our facility can also provide image post-processing and computerized image transfer, assistance to ensure MRI equipment safety, and can facilitate clinical readings.