MRI: Preclinical Research Services | SRI International
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MRI: Preclinical Research Services

Customizable acquisition and analysis tools for animal MR imaging using a state-of-the-art 7T platform.

SRI Biosciences provides small animal MRI solutions for preclinical MR imaging research requiring sensitive in vivo measurements of structure or function of tissues. Clients have access to world-class animal imaging scientists for guidance and insights regarding data collection, analysis, and interpretation to effectively advance their preclinical needs.

SRI also operates the Pfefferbaum Animal Imaging Facility as a service center available on a pay-for-use basis for approved outside researchers. Collaborations with SRI researchers are invited; please contact us.

A Valuable Research Tool

Small animal MRI has become an increasingly valuable preclinical research tool for observing organ, tissue, or cell changes—identified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a growing need in the ‘Critical Path’ roadmap.

  • MRI provides high spatial resolution imaging optimized for neuroscience research.
  • In addition to models of neurodegenerative, psychiatric, and other CNS disorders, the system is also suitable for models of cancer, obesity (e.g., fat quantification), and evaluation of pharmacological interventions.
  • Noninvasive imaging enables longitudinal measurement, increasing statistical power while decreasing the number of animals needed for study measurements.

Available Methods

  • T1 and T2 weighted structural images
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI)
  • Functional MRI (fMRI)
  • MR spectroscopy (MRS)

We use the Bruker Pharmascan® 70/16 platform with Paravision® software and a wide range of volume and surface coils, including:

  • MRI and MRS protocols optimized for small rodents
  • 16 cm clear bore size with 72 mm free access for the animal
  • Actively shielded gradient system
  • High-performance BGA-9S gradients with high amplitude, slew rates, shim strengths, and duty cycles optimized for small animal imaging

Imaging Services

  • Consulting on design of study protocols
  • Animal disease models
  • Customized imaging protocols
  • Data compilation and analysis
  • Data interpretation
  • Report generation

Comprehensive Services

SRI Biosciences conducts drug discovery and development to take drugs from ideas to Investigational New Drug status (Idea to IND and Beyond®), including:

  • Comprehensive preclinical testing services
  • Experienced human clinical research, enabling translational understanding and capabilities
  • Expertise and resources in neuroscience, cancer, immunology/inflammation, infectious disease, and drug development

Research Examples

Our experts have a 15-year history of rodent MR imaging and have authored or co-authored more than 400 publications, including:

  • Zahr NM, Alt C, Mayer D, Rohlfing T, Manning-Bog A, Luong R, et al. Associations between in vivo neuroimaging and postmortem brain cytokine markers in a rodent model of Wernicke’s encephalopathy. Experimental neurology. 2014;261C:109-19. doi:10.1016/j.expneurol.2014.06.015. PubMed PMID: 24973622.
  • Zahr NM, Mayer D, Rohlfing T, Hsu O, Vinco S, Orduna J, et al. Rat strain differences in brain structure and neurochemistry in response to binge alcohol. Psychopharmacology. 2014;231(2):429-45.