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Siemens 3T

This state-of-the-art 3T Siemens Prisma whole body scanner includes simultaneous multi-slice (SMS) techniques for functional MRI (fMRI) and diffusion imaging (dMRI) as outlined in the Human Connectome Project, and technique for magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), as well as whole-body scanning. The system facilitates cross-compatibility with MRI/S facilities at other institutions for multi-center studies, and alignment of UF imaging with big data multi-site studies for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and the NIH Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Whole body scanning capabilities enable needed correlative measurements in obesity, diabetes, osteoarthritis, aging and dystrophy studies.

The Simens Prisma includes an 3T magnet, an unmatched 80 mT/m @ 200 T/m/s gradient system, parallel transmit capabilities, a series of MR coils and pulse sequence packages for advanced MR imaging and spectroscopy research of human neuro, body, and MSK systems. The SMS techniques and powerful gradients with a combined effective strength of 139 mT/m and a maximum slew rate of 346 T/m/s enable higher resolution brain studies in a shorter period of time.

Highlighted Capabilities 


Photo credit: Siemens Healthcare

  • 50x50x50 cm Field of view
  • Gradient with maximum aplitude of 80 mT/m and maximum slew rate of 200 T/m/s on each axis simultaneously
  •  RF system with 48, 64 or 128 independent receive channels for faster imaging and higher SNR
  • Full body imaging capability: connecting up to 204 coil elements simultaneously, enabling one subject setup, no re-positioning, no changing of coils

Available Coils

  • 64-channel Head/Neck
  • 20-channel Head/Neck
  • 18-channel Body
  • Small (4-ch) & Large (4-ch) Flex
  • 15-channel T/R Knee
  • 32-channel Spine
  • 36-channel Peripheral Angio

Project Development

  • Investigators should discuss their project with Dr. Song Lai to review their needed protocol and make sure the needed instrumentation and techniques are available.  I.e. hardware exists, protocols may be put together readily, and that sufficient protocol development and/or validation time is allocated. If necessary, Dr. Lai can assist in developing an imaging protocol based on specific needs of a project; it is important to realize that optimizing a specific protocol for a particular project is critical to obtaining significant data. If the development is more involved than can be accomplished by refining Siemens product sequences and/or it involves significant technical development, the investigator(s) must fund Dr. Lai’s time from their project budget and/or include Dr. Lai in the project as a co-investigator.

Instrument Time for Protocol Development

  • During the first year of operation, the AMRIS Facility has allocated development time for all funded projects to implement and test protocols on the Prisma.  This time can be scheduled by Tammy Nicholson or Dr. Lai.
  • For pilot studies to acquire preliminary data, there are several funding mechanisms available through the MBI, CTSI, and SECIM programs at UF.
  • For grant proposals to external funding agencies that need MR techniques and protocols not already available on our scanner and will require Dr. Lai’s time to develop them, the grant application budget must include any funds needed for acquisition of the hardware and/or software and funds to support Dr. Lai’s time developing the protocols .
  • If the hardware and/or the necessary MR protocols or sequences required for a project are not already available in AMRIS and would be of interest to the larger 3T user group, requests may also be made to the 3T advisory committee to fund the needed hardware or sequences with 3T funds (see below).

Proposals for Advanced Hardware and Extended Project Development Support

  • When an investigator or user group purchases a new coil, installs auxiliary equipment, or develops/implements a new software sequence, the time needed for full implementation, calibration, and QC testing may be beyond the scope of standard protocol development time.  If new hardware, MR protocols or sequences are for general use by the larger user community, users may request that a sufficient scanner time be made available at no charge to them for more complex development projects. If necessary, Dr. Lai can assist in project development with his consulting time also provided by AMRIS. If hardware and/or commercially available MR protocols or sequences are needed, requests may also be made to fund the needed hardware or sequences with 3T development funds. A development project proposal must be submitted to the AMRIS facility (to Dr. Long, Dr. Mareci, and Dr. Lai) for preliminary review of feasibility and time needed. It will then be submitted to the full 3T advisory committee for discussion and review. The advisory committee meets quarterly, but under extenuating circumstances review may be expedited via electronic discussion and recommendations. A development project pursued internally requires a two-three page proposal with the following information:
  • The specific hardware/protocol/sequence proposed (with relevant references). Also include information on any partner institutions that will be assisting in a transfer of a technique from their scanner and preliminary data supporting feasibility.
  • Documentation of user demand for this functionality and funded research projects which would benefit
  • A proposed development budget detailing instrument development time, staff consulting time, any funds needed for scanner hardware (i.e. coils) or software purchases, and any funds needed for auxiliary (third party) equipment or data analysis software. Attach relevant quotes for hardware and or software packages.
  • If approved, the AMRIS Facility will make needed purchases and then will then allocate the needed development time during off-peak operations (i.e. after 3 pm on weekdays or on weekends). When applying to funding agencies to obtain new equipment or software beyond what can be funded through 3T development funds, the AMRIS facility can provide a letter of support for the development time needed to implement new protocols utilizing them provided the 3T advisory committee has approved a development project for them.

Data Analysis

  • Investigator(s) are also encouraged to review with Dr. Lai their needs for processing and analysis of data acquired on the 3T MRI/S scanner in order to ensure sufficient resources are allocated for this purpose in grant applications.

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