Pre Clinical MRI

Departments of Medical Physics and Radiology and the Paul Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center

Paul Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center LogoThe Paul Carbone Cancer Research Imaging Center, along with the Departments of Radiology and Medical Physics feature a Varian 4.7T horizontal bore magnetic resonance imaging/spectroscopy system. This system provides the capability to scan samples up to 600 grams in size, or with a diameter of 72 mm or less, with an in-plane resolution on the order of 50 microns. The imaging laboratory is equipped with an anesthesia system and physiologic monitoring that allows for image gating. MRI is totally non-invasive (there is no ionizing radiation) and scans can be repeated multipletimes to track disease progression ortreatment effectiveness.

Preclinical vascularA C-13 polarizer (Hypersense, Oxford Instruments) is available to polarize a 4mg C-13-containing sample dissolved in 100-200 microliters of solvent to levels of 20% to 30% in 2-4 hours. Dissolution in water or methanol produces a liquid volume of 4-5 ml, which can be studied in vitro or in vivo. This provides gains in sensitivity for a variety of biologically-relevant samples, including metabolites and vitamins.

Scheduling Information

MR Imaging can be scheduled after an initial new client meeting occurs. This meeting will help ensure the protocols are current, supplies are needed, system abilities are available, funding is set up, data analysis procedures are explained, etc. Please use the email links below to set up this meeting. Once scheduled, scans can take anywhere from 7 minutes to 2 hours per subject depending on your needs and goals.

Please be aware it can take up to two weeks to coordinate with Research Animal Resource Center and protocol requirements, so keep that in mind when planning your projects and contact us early for scheduling time.

To Schedule A Scan

Email Beth Meyerand and cc: Beth Rauch and Sean Fain with your request to arrange a meeting. Please include the following in your email:

  • Your name and title
  • The PI associated with the project
  • RARC Protocol number the animals are included on
  • Is MRI currently on your protocol?
  • Funding String to be used
  • Animal species or Sample detail
  • Ex-vivo or in-vivo
  • Number of animals needed for the project and an estimated goal timeframe
  • Description of your project, including what you are hoping MRI will provide
  • Any reference papers you may have that discuss MRI as it relates to your project

If you have any MRI system and scheduling questions, contact Beth Rauch, (608) 262-0967.

Fee Information

*Sequence development and start-up for new project are free of charge (up to 10 hours). After that, the following applies:

  • UWCCC Members: $225/hour
  • UW Users, Non-UWCCC Members: $250/hour
  • Commercial Users (non UW): $385/hour
  • Other Users: Contact Facility Manager
  • Anesthesia & Supply Charge: $5/scan
  • Data Analysis & Technical Devolpment Time: $50-125/hour, Contact the Image Analysis Core for more information

** Overnight scans will be charged for 2 hours worth of time (plus setup time).

Manduca sexta (tobacco hornworm) larva

Potential Uses of the System

  • Food Science Industry
  • Botany and Agricultural Sciences
  • Ex-vivo and In-vivo Imaging
  • Molecular imaging
  • Track stem cells in vivo
  • Macrophage infiltration
  • Pin-point brain ischemia
  • Tracking neural pathways
  • Image Anatomy
  • Visual airways in the lung
  • Monitor drug effects
  • Cardiac & blood vessel MRI
  • Muscles, tendons & cartilage imaging
  • Kidney and liver imaging
  • Transgenic Animals
  • Oncology
  • Phenotyping
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Neuological disorders

Who could benefit from the Pre-Clinical MRI Center?

Our system is very flexible and can be useful for a multitude of disciplines. These include the pharmaceutical and food industry, veterinary, psychology, biomedical sciences, immunology, materials development, and more. Usefulness is only limited by the size of the magnet’s bore. Contact us for a free consultation at or 608-263-1109.


For more images, as well as publication information on some of our work visit our page on