High performance magnetic resonance imaging scanner for animals

Spectacular delivery to Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry

June 16, 2016
The new 9.4 Tesla scanner was flying above our heads at the beginning of June into the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry. Weighing 5.5 tons, deep-frozen with liquid helium already (-269 °C) but still without magnetic field, it was delivered across the wall of Munich Municipal Hospital Schwabing. The system is scheduled to be installed and in full function about four weeks after delivery.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allows non-invasive sectional images of the brain without any radiation exposure. In clinical imaging diagnostics, MRI is the standard method for neurological and psychiatric patients. Furthermore, it can be applied in animal models. By means of this technique, structural, functional and metabolic processes in the brain of living anesthetized animals can be studied without subjecting the animals to stressful surgery. Gaining new insights into such cerebral processes will provide the basis for new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of psychiatric disorders.
In the preclinical MRI, substantially higher field strengths are necessary to produce qualitatively sufficient images in comparison to the clinical MRI.

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