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Penn researchers to get 7 Tesla whole-body MRI system

(Philadelphia, PA) - Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine will soon be armed with a new, cutting-edge technological tool in the field of radiology - a 7 Tesla whole-body Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system. Penn's Department of Radiology will become the first in the Greater Philadelphia region to acquire one of these ultra high-field scanners. Only a handful of them are in operation elsewhere in the United States.

Ravinder Reddy, PhD, Professor of Radiology and Science Director of the MMRRCC at Penn, who is also the principal investigator leading the effort in high-field imaging, explains why this is such a powerful addition for research, "Since the inception of MRI for clinical imaging and research over two decades ago, the magnetic field strength of clinical imagers has increased 20-fold from 0.15 Tesla initially to 3T currently, with each increase in field strength yielding new diagnostic capabilities. Initial results from a few laboratories suggest MRI at even higher fields holds great promise to provide insight into structure, function and physiology in humans not obtainable at lower fields. An ultra high-field magnet will further improve sensitivity, speed, and image resolution."

Reddy adds, "This system will also pave the way to image other nuclei in the human body such as sodium (23Na), phosphorus (31P), oxygen (17O) and carbon (13C). Imaging these nuclei may provide disease-specific molecular and functional information unobtainable on conventional MRIs. With further technique development, we can detect disease in a way never seen before."

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), just announced it is awarding Penn a High-End Instrumentation grant of $2 million toward the purchase of the whole-body 7T MRI system. The NCRR grants are used to fund cutting-edge equipment required to advance biomedical research and increase knowledge of t
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Contact: Susanne Hartman
susanne.hartman@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5964
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
28-Aug-2006


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