East Building Imaging Facility: The East Building Imaging Facility includes three bays each with a Siemens 3T PRISMA. The PRISMA is a high performance 3T scanner, particularly aimed at demanding clinical applications and clinical research. It has an 80 mT/m gradient set combined with a 200 (T/m/s) slew rate, enabling superior diffusion white matter tracking. The RF allows for modern parallel acquisition strategies such as multiband, simultaneous multislice imaging. What is more, there is parallel transmission of RF that allows for inner volume imaging (imaging a field of view smaller than the object without aliasing). The PRISMA also employs advanced homogeneous image intensity and shimming functions.
Each scanner has a full complement of high element coils including 20, 32, and 64 channel head coils. The PRISMA has the industry’s highest density head/neck coil providing superior SNR for high iPAT performance, with full coverage of the head and neck and seamless integration with the spine and body coils.
MR Related Equipment
EyeLink 1000 Plus Eye Tracker (SR Research): During resting state functional scans, eye position is tracked using an EyeLink 1000 Plus Eye Tracker (SR Research, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada).
Physiological Recording in the MR Scanner: During all EPI scans, recording of respiratory and pulse oximeter measurements is conducted using the built-in Siemens Physiological Monitoring Unity (PMU). The PMU records data from three sources: 1) respiratory bellows attached to the Physiologic ECG and Respiratory Unit (PERU), 2) pulse sensor attached to the Peripheral Pulse Unit (PPU), and 3) the external scanner trigger signal attached to the PMU input. The PMU records timestamps and scanner trigger information in each of the files, allowing synchronization of the recordings with the image acquisition.
Mock Scanner: The East Building Imaging Research Center also houses a MRI Simulator that provides a realistic emulation of an actual MRI scanner. By introducing subjects to a mock scanner in an environment that is less intimidating and less stressful than a real thing, the experience helps subjects, particularly children habituate to the sounds of the scans as well as to the discomfort associated with the limited space and visibility of a real scan. Additionally, the mock scanner can be used to train subjects to remain still during the scan by providing live feedback through the MoTrak software. This program allows recording of angular rotations as well as positional displacements of the participant’s head from an initially calibrated position. This information is displayed and logged by the program in real-time, allowing observation of head motion in an MRI simulator. The mock scanner environment is equipped with hardware to simulate the MR scanner environment: a 53cm bore and scanner opening, replica of the Siemens 32-channel head coil, coil-mounted mirror, fiber-optic button box, LCD projector, and Lucite screen. Recordings of scanner noises can be played through a bore-mounted speaker system to de-sensitize participants to typical scanner noises. Participants can also receive head motion training, during which their head position is tracked with commercially available hardware (Flock of Birds Model 6DF0B; Ascension Technology Corp., Burlington, VT) and software (MoTrak version 126.96.36.199; Psychology Software Tools, Inc., Sharpsburg, PA) and displayed on the back-projection screen.
Testing Rooms: The East Building Imaging Research Center has 6 rooms dedicated to cognitive and neurological testing. One room has an eye-tracker that is identical to the one described above. One room is equipped with mounted video equipment for recording the actions and the faces of infant volunteers as they interact with the staff. These rooms can be employed for family conversations, preparing parents and child for scanning and many forms of neurobehavioral testing. The video close-up of the child is recorded digitally along with a small Picture-in-Picture view of the subject-staff interaction. In addition to the rooms, a larger waiting area is provided for the families with toys and games to provide breaks between tests or during scan training preparation.
CCIR: The Center for Clinical Imaging Research (CCIR) at Washington University provides advanced imaging resources and multiple levels of support to clinical investigators and is located in Barnes Hospital.
Human PET: Siemens CTI ECAT HR+ PET scanner in the Neurological/Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit.