Two fully staffed research grade fMRI facilities are available at UCI for brain imaging. They are housed in magnetically shielded structures near Irvine Hall
3T Research System
In 2006 UCI purchased a 3T magnet dedicated to fMRI research. The magnet, which is located near Irvine Hall, went online in September 2006.
4.0T MR Imaging/Spectroscopy System
A new 4 Tesla whole body MR system is available at the HS Research Imaging Center for human and animal studies. The system has a clear bore size of 90 cm and initially will have head access actively shielded gradient coils with 27 mT/m field strength for echo planar studies. Various rf coils including multi-frequency head and surface coils will be available. We have plans for building surface gradient coils for imaging other parts of the human body including sections of the spine with high resolution. Additionally, we will also acquire a body gradient coil for imaging the whole body. The system uses a Picker console for data acquisition that could be used for multinuclear spectroscopy and various MR imaging techniques up to 300 MHz. The initial configuration of the 4 Tesla system will enable us to perform echo planar imaging with a time resolution of down to 64 milliseconds and a spatial resolution of 128X128 which will be used mainly for functional MRI and dynamic contrast enhanced MRI. In addition to normal MR imaging with a resolution up to 1024X1024, we will also be able to perform in vivo spectroscopy of important nuclei such as H-1, C-13, F-19, and P-31.
We have a 128 channel Geodesic Sensor Net system (Electrical Geodesics, Inc) and a 128 channel MEG-compatible system from Advanced NeuroTechnology. MEG recordings take place at Scripps Hospital and UCSD.
Trancranial Magnetic Stimulation: Magstim® Model 200² Monophasic Stimulator P/N 3010-00
Magnetic nerve stimulators work by inducing electrical currents in tissue using a non-invasive stimulating coil. The stimulating coil is placed near the intended site of stimulation and trigger pulses initiate brief magnetic pulses. The magnetic fields can pass through clothing, tissue and bone to reach otherwise inaccessible areas. One feature of magnetic stimulation is that it is unable to stimulate pain fibers at the skin surface, reducing the discomfort when compared with conventional electrical stimulation. A variety of standard stimulating coils, custom coils and output waveforms are available to suit different areas of application. For more information on TMS Research contact General Clinical Research Center, http://www.gcrc.uci.edu/neuroimaging/index.cfm.