Equipment Information

On this page you will find detailed information about the MR Research Facility's scanners, computers, and general resources. The National Institute of Health document linked below outlines the equipment used at the MRRF, and provides useful information for researchers:

NIH Equipment Information - MR Research Facility (updated 12/14/2011)

Scanning Facilities

Siemens TIM Trio 3T Scanner

The research-dedicated Siemens 3T TIM Trio MRI scanner is located in L169 MERF (Medical Education & Research Facility) and is available from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday through Friday.

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GE MR950 7T Whole Body Scanner


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Siemens Avanto 1.5T Shared Scanner

The shared Siemens Avanto 1.5T MRI scanner is located at MRI in the main hospital and is available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 2:00pm to 3:30pm.

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Siemens TIM Trio 3T Scanner

The shared Siemens 3T TIM Trio MRI scanner is located at MRI in the main hospital and is available Tuesdays from 8:00am to 4:30pm and Thursday from 12:00pm to 4:30pm.

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MRI Simulator

The MRI Research Facility's MRI Simulator is available to all MRI researchers at no charge. The MRI Simulator gives subjects exposure to the scanner by realistically reproducing the scanning environment.

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Avote 5701 Real Eye

The Avotec Real Eye 5701 is an MR compatible eye tracking solution for fMRI studies. The system allows researchers to remotely monitor and track subject eye movement.

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Computing Facilities

MRRF Computing Facility

Within the MERF Imaging Facility, research workstations are available for investigators to utilize while imaging and post processing data after it is collected. Both Microsoft Windows and Linux-based workstations are available.

  • Several image processing tools are available on these systems including:
    • BRAINS
    • Slicer
    • FSL
    • AFNI
    • MatLab
    • LCModel

We are actively involved with the Iowa Institute of Biomedical Imaging (IIBI) and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (ICTS) technical groups to provide administration of our computing resources. IIBI provides system upgrades, on-site technical support and backups for all research machines. ICTS currently provides support for the MRI Research Facility's website, scheduling system and the LCModel server.

The MR Research Facility uses the XNAT (Extensible Neuroimaging Archive Toolkit) open source software platform to manage all MR research images. XNAT allows researchers to access and manage their MR images from a secure repository immediately following a subject's research scan. Subject data is confidential and is available for all current MR research projects.

Other Equipment

The MR Research Facility strives to keep our equipment state-of-the-art and to provide tools to investigators that will facilitate their research projects.

  • Below is some of the equipment we provide to all MR Research Facility users:
    • 18-Channel Multi-Nuclear Upgrade Option. The research dedicated 3T scanner was upgraded from 8 to 18 channels. This enables shorter imaging times and will allow new multi-channels to be utilized for imaging the brain and extremities. The multi-nuclear imaging option allows nuclei other than 1H to be imaged. Several potential projects requesting 31P, 23Na and 11C have been proposed by investigators within the College of Medicine.
    • BIOPAC Physiological Monitoring System. Includes Photoplethysmograph (PPG), Respiratory, Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), Pulse oximeter, air flow and expired gas analysis.
    • fMRI MediGoggles. MediGoggles permit subjects who require prescription glasses to see visual stimuli from within the scanner without introducing any safety risks to the subject or artifact in the images. The goggles can be customized from –6 to +6 dioptre in 0.5 dioptre increments and are easy to set up and use.
    • FOMRI II Fiber Optic fMRI Microphone. The FOMRI II system uses fiber-optic technology and an advanced set of noise-canceling algorithms to reproduce high quality speech from recordings within the magnet and is available for general research usage.
    • Animal Anesthesia Machine. The VT-110-MRI 3T-MRI Compatible Small Animal Anesthesia Machine was recently purchased from JD Medical to support sedation of animals while being studied in 3T whole body scanners.
    • Metrasens FerroGuard Freestanding Metal Detector. The Metrasens FerroGuard metal detector is available at the research suite at L169 MERF and is used to screen every research subject for potential hazardous metallic material. The system is movable and can be adjusted to meet the sensitivity requirements of the location.
    • Avotec Real Eye 5701 eye tracking system. The Real Eye 5701 uses a fiber optic image guide and an infrared illuminator to monitor subject eye movement. It includes a rear-facing mirror so the subject can view stimulus without any interference from the eye tracking system.