MRI creates detailed anatomical/morphological images of the soft tissues of the body such as brain, heart, muscles, tendons,and liver. MRI can also give functional information, e.g. regarding cerebral blood flow. In addition, MRS may provide biochemical information about the tissues, allowing studies of metabolic changes in distribution and concentration to be performed.
The ability to perform first-class high resolution MRI and MRS research both in vivo and ex vivo is provided by two well-equipped machines, one 9.4T (horizontal bore) and one 11.7T (vertical bore).
There are a number of measurement parameters that affect signal intensity and, subsequently, image contrast in MRI. This means that the operator can manipulate image contrast, giving superior soft tissue differentiation. Contrast agents may be injected intravenously to enhance the appearance of blood vessels, tumors or inflammation. The MR equipment can be tuned to pick up signals from different chemical nuclei within the body/sample. The most common nuclei to be studied are hydrogen (present in fat and water in the body), phosphorus, carbon, sodium and fluorine. (See Basic principles for a more detailed description.)