High-resolution multi-echo gradient anatomical image of rodent brain obtained at UB's 9.4T MRI scanner using cryogenic surface coil

The experienced faculty and staff at the Center for Biomedical Imaging (CBI) provide top-quality service by using state-of-the art and innovative technology. Our services are tailored to meet the requirements of each clinical trial and the needs of the study sponsor. 

Analysis and acquisition often go hand in hand in imaging research as proactive analysis of recently acquired information can provide valuable feedback for future acquisition, which thereby enhances downstream analysis output. Strong communication between teams conducting these processes allows for successful research and advancement of imaging technology.

The Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) partners with the CBI to provide expertise and analysis services to investigators at UB. BNAC has experience with many diseases, including multiple sclerosis, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. BNAC may assist investigators in the quantification and interpretation of tissue volumes, tissue iron content, fiber tract integrity, metabolite concentration and other tissue properties.  

BNAC is a dedicated research center for quantitative analysis of MRI for clinical research including Preclinical and Clinical Phase I, II, III and IV trials and investigator-led research studies on multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases.  

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The CBI will consult with the investigator in determining which imaging methodologies are most suited to meet the investigator’s research objectives. The following are examples of parameters that can be tailored in an imaging study:

  • Number of subjects per group
  • Anesthesia
  • Imaging modality and constrast
  • Contrast agents
  • Imaging time points
  • Scan duration
  • Gating
  • Temporal and spatial resolution
  • Static or dynamic framing
  • Image reconstruction

Animal housing for imaging studies

Animals are permitted to be housed in the Laboratory Animal Facility (LAF) for long periods of time for longitudinal studies. Housing costs are applied in addition to the imaging rate. Housing fee per cage/day will be applied according to the LAF policies. 

Contrast agent information

MRI contrast agents

  • Gadobutrol (Gadavist┬«) is provided by CBI at additional cost.
  • Investigators can provide their own contrast agent to be used in imaging.

Contrast agent injection

  • At no additional cost to the hourly image acquisition rates, the CBI can inject contrast agents for all imaging modalities intravenously, intraperitoneally, or subcutaneously. A power-injector is available for human studies.
  • For PET radiopharmaceuticals, the CBI records all injection information pertinent to quantitative analysis using a decay corrected injection form. We will provide a hard copy and/or digital version of this form for analysis.
  • Injection supplies are included in the imaging fee. Typical injection supplies include needles, syringes, catheters, saline, vials, gauze, tape and isoflurane. 

Image acquisition

MR imaging and PET/CT imaging are on a fee-for-service basis.

MR imaging

  • Only qualified CBI staff with special training operate the MRI scanners. 
  • Unless specifically discussed with the investigator/researchers, the CBI will choose the scanning parameters most ideal for the application. This may require development of a new protocol or optimization of an existing one on phantoms or subjects. 
  • Before clinical or preclinical study scanning starts, a final dummy-run procedure is conducted to lock the study protocol. All scanners are calibrated on a regularly scheduled basis. Isoflurane gas anesthesia is available to maintain sedation during MRI scanning. 

PET-CT or CT-only imaging

  • Only qualified CBI staff with special training operate the PET-CT scanner.

To ensure data privacy, no personal identifying information (PII) will be stored on the imaging scanners.

Image reconstruction

The CBI will reconstruct images to most accurately fulfill the demands of the study. Images will be shared with the investigator either via DICOM or as NIfTI-files. Per investigator request, the CBI staff will provide raw data to the researcher for reconstruction.

Retrieving data and data backup

The CBI does not maintain a redundant data backup for imaging data. It is the PI’s responsibility to store securely the study data after they have been provided by the CBI.

Data is provided to the PI via an encrypted link to the CBI’s data storage server. 

For intrusion protection:

  • No thumb drives or external drives can be used in the CBI to access data.
  • Users are not permitted to use the internet on the CBI scanner computers. Please bring a personal laptop for internet use.