The 7T MRI facility is located in the Life Sciences Centre (see how to find us). It is equipped with a state of the art 7 Tesla Bruker MRI scanner with a 30 cm wide cylindrical bore (see scanner capabilities). We are a user-supported facility which aims to help academic and industrial scientists meet their research goals through the use of MRI technology, particularly for the study of animal models of human disease and disorder.

Why Use MRI in Preclinical Biomedical Research?

Along with its obvious use as a clinical research tool, MRI has gained popularity in studying preclinical animal models of human disease and disorder.  MRI is characterized by two advantages that are attractive in preclinical research:  the ability to monitor in vivo biological variables noninvasively, and the ability to serially track the progression of a disease or intervention in the same living animal, thus improving a study's biological and translational relevance.  MRI can measure a wide array of biological variables, ranging from morphological information to parameters relating to tissue function.  More recently, MRI has made forays into "molecular imaging", where cellular and biochemical events are indirectly detected through the use of targeted contrast agents.  The implementation of these increasingly complex MRI techniques is not straightforward, and requires intimate knowledge of the physics and mechanisms behind the measurements.


Our staff can provide support and collaboration with experiment design, MRI technique development, apparatus and sensor development, animal handling, image/data acquisition, and data analysis.  Our support infrastructure includes an animal preparation room, in-scan physiological monitoring and maintenance apparatus, computing facilities, access to machining services, and an electronics workshop used primarily for producing custom RF coils (MRI sensors).