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We develop techniques and hardware on the Centre’s 7 Tesla MRI scanner to offer neuroscientists exciting new possibilities to image the structure, function and biochemistry of the human brain.

Ultra high field mri physics 1
The 7 Tesla MRI scanner at FMRIB

Ultra high-field MRI offers exciting new possibilities to image the structure, function and biochemistry of the human brain in far greater detail than has previously been possible. Researchers in the Centre’s physics group are developing the tools to make the maximum use of this potential.

Our Siemens scanner is equipped with parallel transmit hardware, and researchers are developing RF coils that use this technology to deliver quantitative measurements of blood perfusion in the brain.  Another project utilises the system’s ability to dynamically vary the B0 shim coils to deliver images that are less distorted or affected by subject breathing.

7 Tesla MRI is up to 5 times more sensitive to brain activation measured by fMRI.  In addition to developing novel FMRI acquisition techniques, researchers are investigating ways to minimise the detrimental effects of subject movement, breathing and physiology.

The scanner is capable of producing exquisite images of brain structure. Susceptibility-weighted images (SWI) are highly sensitive to iron and myelin iron content of brain tissue. The high-performance gradients on this scanner are also ideal for improving the contrast and spatial resolution of diffusion images.

Finally, 7T offers considerable advantages for spectroscopy techniques to quantify brain biochemistry.

View our publications.

This research is conducted by the FMRIB Physics Group.

 

Selected publications

Related research themes