Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has become one of the well-established modern medical imaging techniques and has been playing an irreplaceable role in the field of both basic research and clinical diagnostics. Recent technological development has allowed this young powerful technique to make a huge impact on a variety of research fields including human anatomy, cognitive/systems neuroscience, medical imaging, signal analysis and processing, and many other aspects.
With the joint support of the Ministry of Finance and Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, we manage to establish a state-of-art 3T MRI facility in Institute of Neuroscience during the summer of 2012. The facility is equipped with 32-channel Siemens Tim Trio system with multi-nuclei spectroscopy package, and various kinds of multi-channel parallel acquisition coil applicable to both animal and human studies. Nevertheless, our 3T machine accompanies with an additional cutting-edge gradient-insert system, one of a handful of such systems around the world. This so-called AC88 gradient system can push the edge of the envelope to achieve a lot stronger gradient strength (~80 mT/m) and faster gradient switching rate (slew rate: ~800T/m/s) than any conventional 3T system does, which will greatly boost our imaging performance on animal research, particularly for nonhuman primates. Meanwhile, we have set up various kinds of MRI-compatible accessories to fully exploit the potentials of our system, such as psychophysical stimulation device (including visual, tactile and auditory), animal and human physiological monitoring device, animal gas anesthesia, and real-time eye tracker.
The platform is supported by a team of experienced hardware/software staff and publicly available to the neuroscience research community in Shanghai. We are also interested to conduct a wide range of collaborative research with regards to the clinical neurological diseases studies and basic neuroscience questions. Moreover, the platform offers different levels of services to the community like scientific consultation, experimental design, data acquisition and analysis, and MRI software/ hardware development.