Magnetic resonance (MR) instruments provide critical noninvasive imaging tools to many biomedical researchers. The existing 9.4-T, 31-cm bore MR system, which was funded by one of the first NCRR High-End Instrumentation grant mechanisms (S10 RR17239) in 2002, was obtained from Varian Inc. (Palo Alto, CA), and delivered in February 2003.
The aim of this proposal is to upgrade the analog console interfaced to our 9.4-T MR instrument with a digital-based console to better perform high-resolution animal studies at the University of Pittsburgh. This will enhance the utility of the existing 9.4-T MR console for in vivo functional and physiological studies, as well as for anatomical and pathological research. The requested digital-based DirectDrive(R) console was replaced to the analog-based INOVA(R) console, which is part of our current 9.4-T system, in 2005. Our current console must be driven by a Sun workstation with Unix operating system, which has been discontinued by Sun Microsystems, while the new digital-based console is controlled by a personal computer with Linux- based operating software. Thus, the proposed console upgrade is critical for maintaining the 9.4-T MR instrument as a state-of-the-art system in order that researchers may continue to be successful. The requested digital DirectDrive(R) Varian console has been totally redesigned and offers several major improvements over our current analog-based Varian console. The requested console has four transmitter boards for proton, one transmitter board for X-nuclei, and 4 receivers, allowing parallel imaging capabilities. The requested console has a digital receiver with 80 MHz sampling frequency, an integrated 16-bit gradient controller, digital RF pulse features, and an increased library of standard pulse sequences. The requested console upgrade will maintain the NIH-funded 9.4-T MR system as state-of-the-art equipment, which is crucial for ongoing and future biomedical imaging projects in Pittsburgh.
High-field magnetic resonance instrument is critically important to perform in vivo functional and physiological studies, as well as for anatomical and pathological research. The requested console upgrade will make impacts to basic and pre-clinical biomedical research.
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