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Siemens 3T TIM Trio


The Siemens 3T TIM Trio whole body magnet is fully equipped for any cardiac or neuro imaging study. The recent upgrade to TIM technology allows the use of 102 different coils on 32 independent receiver channels.

We have two dedicated head coils (eight and 12 channel), a neck coil, full spine coil in eight segments, a body array coil, and a breast coil. The gradients can generate an effective amplitude of 72mT/m and have an effective slew rate of 346 T/m/s.

Support equipment includes full physiologic monitoring equipment (BP, HR, SAO2, ETCO2), two different power injectors, in room gas (O2, suction, and anesthesia gas evacuation), an animal anesthesia machine, a full array of cushions and pads for positioning, and a filtered access panel for additional equipment.

The functional imaging tools have been developed to make the setup for an experiment easy and reproducible. A high quality full frequency range auditory amplifier is used to deliver auditory stimuli via plastic tubing from the foot of the bed. The auditory system provides two-way communication making it easier to explain the task to the subject. A slim line headphone set is used for maximum patient comfort. Positioning calipers are used to fixate the head and reduce patient motion during the study. Visual stimuli are delivered to a custom rear projection screen placed inside the bore of the magnet approximately 24″ from the subject. The subject views the stimuli via a mirror attached to the head coil that can be adjusted easily. Subjects with poor vision can be corrected using our plastic optical lens kit and a plastic sports goggle. The images are projected onto the screen through a special waveguide in the back of the room. This eliminates any of the imaging noise created by the projector. A custom lens is used to optimize the image on the rear projection screen creating a crisp, bright image that fills the subject’s field of view. Fiber optic buttons (four of them) can be used to record the subject’s response to the stimuli. The buttons connect to the Cedrus RB610 response box. The data can be interfaced to the stimulation presentation software via a serial cable connection. With the additional filtered connectors on our patch panel, it is possible to interface any stimulus device into the magnet room. A dedicated stimulus computer is located next to the main imaging console. A number of stimulus presentation programs are resident on this computer including Superlab, Cogent, and Presentation. Some investigators bring their own laptops to interface with the MR system and stimulation delivery equipment. The scanner’s trigger pulse is provided in TTL form as well as a pulse number delivered via a serial connection. The trigger can indicate the start of the volume or the initiation of each slice.

The 3T does not have window like most clinical scanners. This is to reduce the amount of RF noise entering the room. The room has tested as having 110dB of attenuation at the center frequency of 123 Mhz. The subject is monitored with a wide angle and a telephoto camera. This combination often provides a much better view than looking through a window. In addition, the images are saved by a digital video recorder and can be saved as a movie. This also serves as a safety feature to document all activities in the magnet room.