Our Technology | Neurosciences Preclinical Imaging Lab

At the heart of our lab is state-of-the-art Bruker 7T MRI system with 40-cm diameter bore — the first such system installed in the United States — which is capable of supporting a range of small to large-animal studies.

Bringing this technology to the Stanford neuroscience community was made possible by funding from the National Institutes of Health (grant S10OD025176 to Jin Hyung Lee, PhD), and the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute. We would also like to acknowledge the long-time support of the Stanford departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry and Radiology and Stanford BioX, which was critical in making our new facility a reality.

MRI Technical Specifications

Bruker 7T MRI: BioSpec 70/40 ASR

Zero helium boil-off technology, nitrogen-free actively shielded refrigerated (ASR) superconducting magnet, 8 receiver channels

Gradient system with amplifier upgrade (300A/500V output)

Main Gradient: BGA26SGradient Insert: BGA12S HP

Actively shield gradient

Actively shield gradient

Integrated shim (2nd order)

Integrated shim (2nd order)

Inner diameter: 260 mm

Inner diameter: 114 mm

Gradient strength: 230 mT/m

Gradient strength: 660 mT/m

Max slew rate: 6500 T/m/s

Max slew rate: 4580 T/m/s

RF coil options

Tx/Rx Volume coilRx-only Array coilCryoProbe

1 outer/inner diameter: 255 mm/197 mm

NHP brain, 8 x 1 coil elements

2x2 coil elements array kit for mice

1 outer/inner diameter: 198 mm/154 mm

Mouse brain, 2 x 2 coil elements


1 outer/inner diameter: 112 mm/86 mm

Rat brain, 2 x 2 coil elements


Using the CryoProbe RF coil at the Neurosciences Preclinical Imaging Laboratory, high resolution MR brain images can be acquired in 3D with 22um isotropic resolution. Here we can see exquisite details of hippocampus, cerebellum as well as olfactory bulb. The CryoProbe is ideal for high resolution ex-vivo as well as in-vivo mouse brain studies. It provides more than 2-fold theoretical increase in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) by minimizing thermal noise. When we compared results using the CryoProbe with our best room-temperature RF coil, it provided a 3-fold increase in SNR.