Human Imaging

The large animal/human imaging floor will - at the time of facility opening - offer:

  • GE 950 7T MRI whole body scanner
  • LINAC radiation delivery / Mega-voltage CT scanner
  • Cardiovascular ultrasound scanner
  • Ophthalmic imaging scanners (3D retinal SD-OCT Zeiss Meditec, 3D SD-OCT Topcon 1000, retinal photography, visual function testing device)
  • A whole-body human/animal dual-source CT research suite is located in an adjacent building
  • A whole-body 3T MR human/animal research suite – ready for MR-PET functionality upgrade; an order has been placed
  • Two additional large scanner bays (both capable of housing PET and/or CT scanners, one of them equipped with MR shielding for scanners up to 3T) are ready to accept new whole-body imaging devices to support large animal/human/translational imaging research.


Used by most clinical departments, the full-size, large-animal MR, CT, PET, SPECT, X-ray, and ultrasound imaging devices are also available for human clinical and research. The following major equipment and laboratories are available for human imaging and image analysis research:

  • MR Imaging

    The MR Research Center is comprised of two distinct locations and offers three scanners to researchers. The research dedicated Siemens 1.5T Avanto and the shared research/clinical Siemens 3T TIM Trio are located in the Clinical MRI Imaging Center on the lower level of John Colloton Pavilion in the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The state-of-the-art, 8,000 square foot MR facility houses five offices for scientific staff and contains a conference room. The facility supports the scanner and equipment rooms for these systems and houses the computer data storage system for the center.


    The second MR facility, The Medical Education and Research Facility (MERF), is comprised of over 1,500 square feet of space that houses a Siemens research dedicated 3T TIM Trio scanner, equipment room, electronics shop, patient waiting room, specimen preparation wet lab, control room, image processing lab, and personal lockers. The image processing laboratory contains 13 cubical workspaces that are utilized by staff, graduate students, and research investigators. The facility also contains ten research workstations and multiple general-use computers available with Windows, Linux and Macintosh operating systems. The systems contain a number of image analysis tools including FSL, AFNI, Slicer3, ImageJ and BRAINS. In addition, one workstation is outfitted with the Siemens IDEA/ICE pulse programming and image reconstruction environments

    • The Siemens 1.5T Avanto scanner is equipped with the SQ gradient engine, 18-channel RF receiver chain, and multi-nuclear capability. The system is outfitted with 11 coils including: 12-channel head, spine array, body, extremity, wrist, peripheral array, small and large flex, shoulder, endorectal and breast. The Avanto is also outfitted with the following packages: Echo-planar Imaging, 3D Dynamic Motion Correction, Diffusion Tensor/HARDI Imaging, BOLD Imaging, AutoAlign, Cardiac Imaging Package, Single Voxel Spectroscopy, and Chemical Shift Imaging. The scanner room is furnished with the Avotec Silent Scan System, rear projection screen, LCD projector, presentation computer and DVD player, Invivo Physiologic monitoring system, MEDRAD Power injector and an optical to TTL Converter for scanner synchronization with stimulus computer.
    • The shared Siemens 3T TIM Trio scanner is outfitted with the TQ gradient engine and an 18-channel receiver chain. The scanner has 7 coils: CP-head, 8-channel head, 12-channel head, spine array, body array, extremity and wrist. The shared 3T is outfitted with the following packages: Echo-planar Imaging, BOLD Imaging, Diffusion Imaging, Single Voxel Spectroscopy, Chemical Shift Imaging, PEPSI and EPSI Spectroscopy. Functional MRI equipment available includes the Avotec Silent Scan System, a stimulus computer loaded with E-Prime and Presentation software, a rear-projection screen, LCD Projector, the MIND Input Device, Invivo Physiologic Monitoring, MEDRAD Injector and an optical to TTL Converter for scanner synchronization with stimulus computer.
    • The Research 3T is equipped with the TQ gradient engine, multi-nuclear capability, and 8 RF receiver channels. The scanner contains the following packages: Echo-planar Imaging, BOLD Imaging, Advanced Functional Neuro, Diffusion Tensor/HARDI Imaging, Arterial Spin Labeling, Single Voxel Spectroscopy, Chemical Shift Imaging and Cardiac Imaging Package. Several research sequences including T1-rho, EPSI, and PEPSI are being evaluated for research projects. The scanner is outfitted with 7 coils: head, spine, body, extremity, 4-channel flex, wrist and endorectal. The facility contains the BIOPAC physiological monitoring and recording system capable of capturing respiratory, photoplethysmograph (PPG), and galvanic skin response (GSR) measurements.
    • Several tools exist for supporting fMRI experiments, including a rear-projection DA-LITE screen, 3500 lumen DLP projector, Avotec Silent Scan and voice recorder, Avotec goggles, The Real Eye Imaging System, an Optical to TTL converter for synchronization and a Stimulus computer complete with E-Prime, Presentation, and Neurognostics fMRI Workflow software. The system also contains the MIND Input Device to record user responses to audio and visual stimuli.
  • PET, PET-CT Imaging

    The PET Imaging Center is a self-contained laboratory encompassing approximately 7000 square feet space for production of radionuclides, synthesis of radiopharmaceuticals, quantitative PET scanning for research and clinical activities and analysis of PET imaging information.

    • Scanditronix MC-17F two particle cyclotron is used for routine production of positron emitting nuclides. Routine production of carbon-11, nitrogen-13, oxygen-15, vanadium-48, and fluorine-18 are performed. The cyclotron is completely automated for normal operation. The fully-equipped clinical radiochemistry laboratory, cold chemistry lab (non-radioactive chemistry area), and physics and electronics labs provide the necessary support for translational research.
    • Siemens Biograph 40. PET/CT (3D only, LSO, h81 image planes, high-resolution option with 4.2 mm transaxial & 4.5 mm axial FWHM resolution, 4.4 cps/kBq sensitivity, 40 slice CT.) The Biograph 40 is available for both research and clinical uses. This scanner is equipped with Pico-3D electronics for improved count-rate performance and is capable of static, multibed, dynamic (list-mode) and gated acquisitions.
    • Siemens/CTI Biograph Duo PET-CT system (3D only, 45 image planes, 6.3 mm transaxial & 4.7 mm axial FWHM resolution, 925,000 cts/sec/µCi/cc sensitivity [scatter corrected], 2 slice CT). The Biograph Duo is primarily a clinical PET scanner.
    • Siemens/CTI HR+ PET system (2D and 3D, 63 image planes, 4.6 mm transaxial and 3.5 mm axial FWHM resolution (3D), 900,000 cts/sec/µCi/cc sensitivity [3D,scatter corrected]). This scanner is used for most research studies since it has a number of acquisition modes (static, dynamic, list mode, gated) useful for the investigation of brain function and tumor metabolism/response to therapy.
  • CT 


  • Nuclear Imaging
    • The Nuclear Medicine clinic has over 6,000 square feet of space with 1 Siemens Diacam gamma camera, 1 Siemens LEM mobile gamma camera, 1 Siemens whole-body dual gamma camera system, 3 Siemens dual detector SPECT systems (one with profile attenuation correction option) and 1 GE dual detector Hawkeye SPECT/CT system. A complete software system for image analysis, archiving and presentation integrates the clinical, translational, and basic research imaging.
  • Autoradiography

A high speed autoradiography (Typhoon) system is used for validation of nuclear imaging techniques with reusable exposure plates and resolution of 250 microns. System is capable of measuring both gamma and beta radiation.

  • Ultrasound

A large variety of state-of-the-art 2D+time and 3D+time ultrasound imaging scanners is available for clinical as well as research purposes.

  • Optical Imaging
    • The Iowa Comprehensive Lung Imaging Center (I-CLIC) facility has developed a high-resolution microscopy imaging system integrated with a vibrating microtome for acquiring images of excised lung tissue.
    • A large scale digital cell analysis system was developed in the Translational Lung Image Research Program (TLIRP) to facilitate real-time imaging of living cells under controlled stress conditions. The system consists of a computer-controlled microscope and a moving support table.