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How to gain access to the facility:

  • STEP 1: Talk to facility staff
    Please contact the people listed below to discuss about your research projects.
    - Dr. Weiguo Li, Director of PIC facility
    Note: Literatures relevant to your research project will be much helpful for the discussion.
  • STEP 2: Prepare animal protocol
    A new animal protocol or an amendment to the existing animal protocol should be approved by ACC at UIC in order for the animal models to be imaged in PIC facility. More information and details can be obtained directly from facility staff listed above.
  • STEP 3: iLab account
    The user (or his PI) needs to setup a iLab account if she/he doesn’t have one. To get information about creating an account with iLab and to create payment sources, please click here
  • STEP 4: Experiments design and scanning protocol setup
    At this stage, the user works with facility staff or director to setup the imaging protocols.Some MRI techniques might not be available on the system. The user can collaborate with the our staff for development of these techniques if she/he prefers to do that. Our staff can help on the experiment design if necessary. The details of experiment design, technical development can be found in the collaboration policy section.
  • STEP 5: Imaging services
    The facility provides multiple kinds of services (details listed in iLab website ). Two major services include: Service 1, Imaging performed by facility staff; Service 2, Imaging performed by user himself/herself. Different rate will apply for the two services (please refer to the rate policy).The user needs to finish STEP 6 and 7, and certain time of Service 1 if she/he prefers to use Service 2.
  • STEP 6: Animal handling training
    The user needs to be trained by BRL staff and get approval for animal handling before performing MRI scanning by herself.
  • STEP 7: Facility training
    The user needs to be trained by our facility staff before performing any imaging studies. This training will cover necessary knowledges and operations procedure and safety related topics, for example, MRI basics and MRI safety. After training, the user still needs to get trained in the Service 1 procedure to gain enough experience for safely operating the systems before she/he get the permission for the Service 2.
  • STEP 8: Scheduling
    Scheduling is available through iLabs for approved users.
  • STEP 9: Non-UIC users
    Non-UIC users need to discuss with Dr. Weiguo Li, the facility director, for the logistics for animal imaging at the facility.

To schedule instrument time, please visit UICore

The user must schedule the usage of the instruments according to the facility Scheduling Policies (See the policy sections)


9.4 T MRI System

Our 31cm bore size 9.4T Agilent MRI system can provide the full support of MRS and MRI studies in animals with size up to 15cm in diameter. Our current system includes a complete set of three heavy duty and efficient gradient coils (305/210HD, 300A, 600mT/m, 205/120 HD, 300A, 600mT/m; and 115/60 HD, 200A, 1000mT/m). Task designated imaging RF coils are available to improve the MR image quality. An isofluorane anesthesia system, body temperature control, and vital signs monitoring system (i.e., temperature, respiration and ECG) plus an MRI-compatible small animal gating system (SA Instruments) are installed to permit free-breathing acquisition during quantitative MRI measurements

Polarean 9820 129Xe Hyperpolarizer

The 9820 129Xe hyperpolarizer provides a routine supply of high-purity, hyperpolarized 129Xe for gas phase magnetic resonance studies. The polarizer is installed near the 9.4 T MRI suite and processes a custom mixture of unpolarized 129Xe, N2, and 4He, into one or more doses of pure hyperpolarized 129Xe that is available for magnetic resonance studies.