High field Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner for pre-clinical research (7.0 Tesla, 30 cm bore)
In vivo validation of experimental disease and therapy models is essential for biomedical research and the development of novel treatments. Non-invasively acquired anatomical, functional and molecular information contributes to understand the basic biological, biophysical and biochemical mechanisms of diseases as they often precede symptoms. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is one of the most frequently used methods in pre-clinical research and clinical diagnosis. The 7 Tesla wide bore MRI system for pre-clinical research forms the basis to better bridge the gap between experimental models and their translation into the clinic and allows the implementation of novel imaging approaches that combine different techniques by incorporating optical, electrophysiological and radionuclide detectors in the MRI system. The system will not only allow to study larger species but also surgical specimen with higher resolution than with clinical MRI systems, hereby linking diagnostic radiology with histopathology. The instrument will deepen complementary collaborations between academic research groups at KU Leuven and the Uni Hasselt and establish further links with biomedical research in industry.