UTSW Pre-Clinical MRI Research Core

Preclinical MRI Core

 Overview of Services


The Pre-Clinical MRI Research Core of the Advanced Imaging Research Center at the UTSouthwestern provides pre-clinical Magnetic Resonance (MR) imaging services for investigators at UT Southwestern and other campuses in the Dallas area.

Core services offered:

  1. Conduct MRI experiments on small animal models
  2. Analyze image data
  3. Design imaging protocols
  4. Develop and implement new imaging and analysis methods
  5. Train MR operations
  6. Collaborate on research grants

MRI Scanners

  • 3 T Bruker Biospec (id: 10.5 cm, gradient strength: 450 mT/m, max slew rate: 4200 m/T/s) equipped with motorized positioning system and located in the same room as the SpinAligner for efficient hyperpolarized imaging.
  • 7 T Bruker BioSpec (id: 11.4 cm, gradient strength: 440 mT/m, max slew rate: 3440 m/T/s) equipped with 4 receiver channels for parallel imaging.
  • 9.4 T Bruker BioSpec (id: 11.4 cm, gradient strength: 660 mT/m, max slew rate: 4570 m/T/s) equipped with 4 receiver channels for parallel imaging.

All scanners are equipped with the following:

  • broadband transmitter/receiver channel supporting 1H arterial spin labeling and X nuclei (19F, 13C, 31P, 23Na, 129Xe) MRI/MRS with 1H decoupling
  • linear, 2nd and 3rd order shims
  • RF interface adapter for 3rd party or home built RF coils

RF coils

  • 3 T : transmit/receive 72 mm quad volume, transmit/receive 40 mm quad volume, transmit/receive 23 mm quad volume, transmit/receive 1H/13C dual resonant 40 mm quad, receive only 1H/13C dual resonant 20 mm linear surface.
  • 7 T: transmit/receive 86 mm quad volume, transmit/receive 72 mm quad volume, transmit/receive 40 mm quad volume, receive only 10 mm linear surface, receive only 20 mm linear surface, receive only 30 mm linear surface, receive only 4x4 surface array.
  • 9.4 T: transmit/receive quad volume, MRI CryoProbeTM, cryogenically cooled, anatomically shaped 2x2 receive only coil for mouse applications, MRI CryoProbeTM, cryogenically cooled, anatomically shaped 2x2 receive only coil for rat applications.

Animal maintenance support

  • Physiological monitoring and gating system (temperature, respiration and ECG)
  • Water based body temperature conditioning system
  • Cradles for precision positioning of animals
  • Rodent anesthesia system
  • Animal holding rooms for rats and mice
  • Animal Prep room equipped with surgical surface, stereomicroscope, fume hood, and medical gas. 

Standard MRI Methods and Protocols

  • Fast gradient echo (FLASH, FcFLASH, SegFLASH)
  • Multiple slice multiple spin echo (MSME)
  • Fast spin echo (RARE)
  • T1-weighted fast spin echo (MDEFT)
  • Steady state free precision imaging (FISP)
  • Non-localized pulse & acquire (SINGLEPULSE, NSPECT)
  • Dixon fat/water imaging
  • CEST imaging
  • Susceptibility weighted Imaging (SWI)
  • Relaxometry (RARE-VTR, MGE)
  • Automatic B0 homogenization (MAPSHIM, AUTOSHIM)
  • Automatic B1 field mapping and phase calibration (B1MAP)
  • Triggered acquisition
  • Localized Spectroscopy: PRESS, STEAM, ISIS
  • Chemical Shift Imaging: CSI, EPSI
  • Diffusion imaging methods: DTI-SE, DTI-EPI, T1-EPI, T2-EPI, T2*-EPI, DTI-Spiral
  • MRI, DCE and Perfusion methods: EPI, CASL-EPI, FAIR-EPI, FAIR-
  • RARE Spiral
  • IntraGate® wireless cardiac imaging methods: IgFLASH, IgUTE
  • Advanced Angiography: Flowmap
  • Short TE: UTE, UTE3D, ZTE, RAREst


Spin Aligner

  • 7 T persistent, dry magnet with low drift rate and fixed leads (Cryogenic Ltd).
  • Re-condensing, variable temperature insert with base temperature of <1.4 K; temperature controllable to 300 K continuously.
  • No liquid cryogens needed. Cooling provided by Sumitomo SRP-082B cold head and F-70H compressor.
  • Microwave frequency 188 ± 2.0 GHz / frequency modulation / pulse modulation / gating / 100 mW / 20 dB attenuation.
  • NMR probe tuned for 13C (72 MHz). NMR coil tuned remotely to provide flexibility for other nuclei.
  • Solid-state NMR spectrometer for measuring polarization build-up.
  • Based on RS2D Cameleon 4, T/R switch, 300 W amplifier (5-310 MHz) and SPINit software.
  • Fluid path optimized for dissolution of pre-clinical and in vitro samples.
  • Fully automated software control.





Janaka Wansapura, PhD
Director, Pre-Clinical MRI Research Core

Advanced Imaging Research Center

Anke Henning, PhD
Director, Advanced Imaging Research Center


Location and hours of operation

Hours  Location

Open: 24/7
Staffed: Monday to Friday: 8am-6pm 

 Rooms: NE2.726 

Links and Resources


  1. Preclinical MRI Core
  2. Advanced Imaging Research Center website


Name Role Phone Email Location
Janaka Wansapura, Ph.D
Director, Pre-Clinical MRI Research Core
Brenda Aston
Billing Coordinator