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Preclinical Research Imaging

The In-Vivo Imaging Core supports both large animal studies at the R2 building and small animal studies at the Neuroscience building. For the latter, the Roberts Translational Imaging Facility is a joint venture between the Stark Neuroscience Research Institute (SNRI) and Indiana Institute for Biomedical Imaging Sciences (IIBIS). It was established in 2020 to offer a variety of preclinical imaging services for Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) investigators across campuses. Learn about preclinical imaging services and how to begin a study.


Erin Jarvis:



  • 9.4T PET-MRI small animal scanner
    Bruker BioSpec 94/30 MR Scanner with gradient inserts, 1H MRI CryoProbeTM, and PET Insert Si 20/12
    This multimodality imaging system is located within a dedicated imaging facility which has been integrated with a laboratory animal care facility. This system became operational in February 2020. Key features include: true simultaneous PET-MR data acquisition, Zero helium boil-off technology, 9.4T superconducting magnet system, actively shielded gradients, built-in 300 mT/m gradient amplitude, 1040 T/m/s maximum slew rate, multiple rodent brain/body/surface/volume coils, MR compatible physiologic monitoring system, body temperature control system, Autopac motorized sample support system, and multiple application packages. The system includes additional gradient inserts for high-resolution imaging.  The B-GA12S HP w/ RF Coil gradient shim insert for optimal performance for small sample sizes (rodent imaging). The 12S gradient coil insert has 660 mT/m peak strength with 4570 T/m/s maximum slew rate for high resolution diffusion imaging. The Resonance Research Inc. (RRI) gradient insert coil is designed for ex vivo only super-resolution MRI with a maximum gradient strength of 2500 mT/m and 25000 T/m/s slew rate. The CryoProbeTM is a cryogenically cooled MRI coil (20-30 degrees K) to decrease electronic noise for 2- to 5-fold increase in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) imaging of mice. The PET insert is a 3-ring PET system that can be inserted into the bore of the magnet for simultaneous PET/MR imaging or can be operated independently as a standalone system. The PET system is based upon Si PET detector technology.  Both the MR and PET systems are operated using the Bruker ParaVision 360 Acquisition Workplace software version.
  • PET-CT (large animals)
    Siemens Biograph mCT 
    A research-dedicated Siemens Biograph PET-CT scanner was installed in 2012 and upgraded in 2017 at the IU Health Neuroscience Center.  PET features include:  TrueV technology for extended FOV up to 78 cm; HD∙PET and ultraHD∙PET/Siemens Time of Flight  technology for 2 mm intrinsic resolution and improved sensitivity; TrueC, model-based Compton scatter correction; patented high-density 4x4x20 mm LSO detectors with decay time of 40 ns and coincidence timing of 4.5 ns; HI-REZ detectors; sinogram mode and dynamic listmode data acquisition capabilities; multiple filter selections and algorithms for reconstruction, including OSEM and FBP; and FlowMotion Techology for single continuous motion of the patient table.

    Siemens Biograph mCT 
    CT features include: 128-slice CT with STRATON X-ray tube with 0.3s CT rotation speed, Adaptive Dose shielding and CARE Dose4D, z-Sharp technology for 0.33mm isotropic resolution, iMAR metal artifact reduction, and Adaptive 4D Spiral technology for full-coverage perfusion studies.
  • MRI (large animals)
    Siemens MAGNETOM Prisma Fit 3T MRI 
    A research-dedicated Siemens MAGNETOM Prisma Fit 3T MRI, located in the R2 building, was upgraded in November 2017 and is a 3T whole-body imaging system operating with Syngo software. The system is equipped with a XR Gradients (80 mT/m @ 200 T/m/s) gradient system and 64 independent RF-channels supporting up to 204 coil elements.

Imaging Services

  • 9.4T MR/PET (small animals)
    The In-Vivo Imaging Core provides neuroimaging, cardiovascular imaging, musculoskeletal imaging, vasculature imaging and abdominal imaging. Imaging sequences include anatomical imaging with T1-weighted, T2-weighted and T2-FALIR contrast; diffusion MRI; functional MRI; perfusion MRI with IVIM and dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC); ultrashort echo time (UTE) MRI; phase contrast imaging; angiography; chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) MRI; MRI spectroscopy with GABA spectroscopy and glu/glx spectroscopy.

    The In-Vivo Imaging Core provides neuroimaging, cardiovascular imaging, and whole-body imaging with a variety of tracers including tau, amyloid, dopamine, synaptic density, FDG and FET. 
  • PET-CT (large animals)
    Tau imaging, amyloid imaging, metabolic imaging, perfusion imaging, prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) imaging, neuro-oncologic imaging, dopamine imaging and synaptic density imaging.  

    Head and neck imaging, musculoskeletal imaging, perfusion imaging, lung imaging and abdominal imaging.  
  • MRI (large animals)
    T1-weighted imaging, T2-weighted imaging, T2-FLAIR imaging, diffusion MRI, IVIM MRI, functional MRI, susceptibility-weighted imaging, myelin imaging, arterial-spin labeling (ASL) MRI, dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) MRI, dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) MRI, chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) MRI, ultrashort echo time (UTE) MRI, phase contrast imaging, MRI spectroscopy, GABA spectroscopy, glu/glx spectroscopy, P31 spectroscopy, proton density fat fraction (PDFF) and more.

How to start your study

  • Register

    All imaging core studies must register with the Office of Research Imaging (ORI).

    Send completed registration form to

    • Prior to opening the study for scheduling ORI requires the following study documents and/or information:
      • Type of species or specimen
      • Scan protocol sheet
      • IACUC information
      • IU account number
  • Review and IIBIS ID number

    Once registered, ORI will review the study and provide an IIBIS ID number for the study. The IIBIS ID number is VERY important to your study so please keep it with your study materials and make sure all members of the study team working with imaging know it. You must reference this number when scheduling. It will look something like this:


  • Study startup meeting
    For studies with nonstandard imaging protocols a study startup meeting is required. Startup meetings are encouraged for all studies to ensure a smooth and successful study.
  • Questions to consider

    Please make sure to consider the following when completing your study registration form:

    • Do I have all the budgetary information for each imaging procedure?
    • Where will the image data be sent for the study team?
  • Scheduling

    Once the above information has sent to and has been approved, for scheduling large animal studies, please contact the imaging technologists:


9.4T Bruker scanner installation