University buys $9.5 million in Varian systems

November 8, 2000

Four Varian MRI scanners will be installed next year at the University of California, San Diego Center for Functional MRI and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies at UCSD. The scanners will be used for an extensive range of functional MRI

Four Varian MRI scanners will be installed next year at the University of California, San Diego Center for Functional MRI and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies at UCSD. The scanners will be used for an extensive range of functional MRI research.

Researchers at the university and the Salk Institute are using very high field magnets rated from 3 to 7 tesla to study both humans and animals. By contrast, conventional MRI scanners usually have field strengths only up to 1.5 telsa. Very high field MR machines are employed for research because they are more sensitive and produce better images of brain function and other physiology. These systems will be applied to identification of specific chemicals in the brain and other organs.

UCSD has ordered 3- and 4-tesla full-body imaging systems for basic functional research in visual, cognitive, auditory, and developmental neuroscience. The 4.7-tesla system will be used to map brain activity in primates, as well as for cardiovascular and pulmonary imaging. The 7-tesla rodent imaging system will be used for cardiovascular studies in genetically altered strains of mice.