Published April 17, 2014
A 7-ton magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner that will make possible groundbreaking research into multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and other diseases was hoisted by a crane seven stories and delivered into UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center on April 12.
The new machine will allow researchers at UB and its biomedical research partners on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to conduct critical imaging studies on soft tissue throughout the human body, including the heart and the brain.
The Toshiba Vantage Titan 3 Tesla MRI scanner that is being installed into the CTRC was trucked to Buffalo from California on a specially designed tractor-trailer. Equipment that also is part of the MRI arrived in Buffalo earlier last week on a 40-foot tractor-trailer.
A panel on the back side of the UB CTRC that operates like an overhead garage door was removed to allow the MRI to be placed inside the building. The panel was designed for the delivery of sophisticated biomedical equipment.
Staff in UB’s University Facilities-Planning and Design division directed the installation on Saturday.
The MRI is a key piece of equipment for the CTRC’s imaging facility. Until the facility was established last year, research imaging studies sometimes had to be postponed because clinical needs always had priority.
“With this new scanner, we have unlimited opportunities to do dedicated research studies where we can get much more informative answers when we ask specific research questions,” says Robert Zivadinov, professor of neurology, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and director of magnetic resonance imaging at the CTRC.
Some of the most important questions that the new machine will be used to study include developing specific MRI biomarkers for diagnosing and managing neurological diseases, as well as finding the best methods for cost-effectively using MRI in patients with a broad range of diseases and conditions.
According to Ferdinand Schweser, assistant professor of neurology and MRI physicist at the imaging center, some of the imaging information that this scanner makes possible previously could only be obtained from biopsies or autopsies.
Among the initial users of the new facility will be researchers at the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center, a division of the UB Department of Neurology, and a leader in developing clinical applications for MRI.
The MRI is being sited in CTRC on consignment with Toshiba through a research partnership agreement.