The MRI Centre was established in 1993-1994 and officially opened in January 1996.

The Centre is distributed over seven principal laboratories, including four MRI instrument labs, two sample preparation labs, and an image data analysis lab. Five principal imaging systems, a Nalorac 2.4 Tesla, 32 cm, horizontal bore magnet, an Oxford 0.2 Tesla vertical bore permanent magnet based instrument, an Oxford 0.05 Tesla vertical bore permanent magnet based instrument, and a 4.7 Tesla, 8 cm vertical bore magnet, form the basis of the MRI Research Centre. A variable field, cryogen free superconducting magnet based instrument, from MR Solutions, was installed in 2017. In addition, the Centre operates a Garfield stray field imaging magnet and a benchtop Minispec spectrometer with a range of unilateral magnet accessories. Two portable Tecmag consoles are available for use with the unilateral magnets.

The majority of our recent work has involved imaging methods developed at UNB which permit rapid flexible and quantitative MRI of short relaxation time nuclei. SPRITE and its derivatives permit investigation of a large range of experimental systems which are inaccessible to conventional MRI methods.

The MRI Centre includes an electronics work bench and facilities for the construction and testing of RF probes. The MRI Center also has dedicated chemistry laboratory equipment as well as a separate sample preparation lab. These labs include a water still which produces doubly distilled water, two controlled temperature/humidity environmental test chambers, and a small mechanical workshop.

A data analysis laboratory housing a small library/meeting and a variety of computers is located next to the magnet labs. This facilitates close interaction between students working on various projects. We employ MatLab for image and data analysis, in addition to simulation. All computers in the lab are fully networked and are connected via the network to several high resolution laser printers in the MRI Centre. A high speed tape drive is connected to the network and provides daily back up of all computers in the MRI centre.

Current research work is progressing rapidly on several fronts in parallel.
1. Fundamental work on MRI pulse sequence development. This work is intended to expand the range of applicability and flexibility of our techniques while simultaneously increasing experimental sensitivity.
2. Development of novel MRI hardware and data processing methods particularly as it relates to industrial MR and MRI applications.
3. Application of our techniques to problems in material science, condensed matter physics, and porous media. Our applications work is undertaken in collaboration with a wide range of academic and industrial research laboratories world-wide.

MRI Centre Layout as of 2017

The above schematic shows the layout of the MRI Centre, and the location of major pieces of equipment within the facility. The total floor area is approximately 4400 square feet.


Contact Information
The University of New Brunswick
Department of Physics
Jennifer McPhail
Last update: February 2019