CBIC Facilities

The Citigroup Biomedical Imaging Center houses state-of-the-art research and diagnostic imaging technology including: a 3.0 Tesla Excite HD GE Magnetic Resonance Imaging system, 7.0 Tesla 70/30 Bruker Small Animal Magnetic Resonance Imaging System [Available: 7/1/2009], (2) 14.1 Tesla Varian Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy systems, an 11.7 Tesla Bruker Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy system, a Discovery LS GE Positron Emission Tomography (PET)/Computed Tomography (CT) system, a Concorde Focus 220 MicroPET system as well as a Radiochemistry laboratory and TR 19/9 Ebco Cyclotron facility that produces 19.2 MeV proton/9.5 MeV Deuterons. The center's non-invasive imaging facilities will enhance patient care and allow research scientists and their collaborators from Weill Cornell Medical College and surrounding institutions to visualize the functioning of the living brain and other human organs. The building design facilitates the complementary use of MRI and PET methods to provide the most direct examination of abnormalities in brain function associated with specific psychiatric and neurological problems.

The Magnetic Resonance Imaging Facility supports high resolution imaging virtually anywhere in the body. The 3.0 Tesla MRI contains ACGD gradients and 8 high bandwidth receivers providing fast parallel image acquisition with a 50 mT/m gradient amplitude, a 150 mT/m/s slew rate and a 55 cm inner bore diameter. Rapid online reconstruction is facilitated by a Linux based HP system with dual Intel Xeon processors. The 7.0 Tesla Small Animal MRI provides a 200 mT/m gradient amplitude, a 640 mT/m/s slew rate and a 20 cm inner bore diameter. Advanced applications including angiography, diffusion tensor, functional, perfusion and spectroscopic imaging are supported. In-house built RF coils provide additional signal and localization compared with standard imaging coils. Investigators use this instrument to study a wide range of diseases in patients, from neurological and psychiatric disorders to cancer and vascular disease. Additionally, animal imaging is performed on both large and small live animal models investigating functional and structural changes due to various disease states.

As a service to the core, there is an applications processing laboratory consisting of two full time Ph.D. faculty in Physics from the Department of Radiology. Data processing is performed on Pentium IV Dell PC computers as well as on Silicon Graphics and Linux based systems. Data storage capabilities include a 2 Terabyte ReadyNAS network file server for investigator use. In-house processing and pulse programming software is written using the Interactive Data Language (ITT Visual, Boulder,CO), MATLAB and C+.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy is one of the primary methods available for the analysis of protein structures, providing an in-depth view of molecules while in liquid form. The NMR spectrometer also gives the clearest view of proteins that cannot be crystallized, and allows for the observation of changes in shape that occur as proteins function. Understanding the "architecture" of molecules will permit a better understanding of how disease begins and progresses, ultimately leading to development of better diagnostic procedures, new drugs, and other treatment strategies.

The Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Facility, which covers about 4,000 square feet of the Imaging Center, can be used to scan the entire body or selected organs. Discovery LS combines today's most sophisticated computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET) systems, producing images that provide anatomic and metabolic information at one time. Additionally, the Concorde Focus 220 MicroPET (CTI, Knoxville) is available for small animal imaging studies. PET precisely measures physiologic function, detects metabolic changes in tissue, displays blood flow, tracks alterations in biochemical processes, and more. It can help physicians evaluate patients for coronary artery bypass or angioplasty procedures, diagnose psychiatric and neurological diseases, assess head trauma and movement disorders, and help diagnose and stage tumor malignancies.

The Radiochemistry Facility is essential to the continued widespread utilization and scientific development of PET in that it produces various positron emitting radiolabeled pharmaceutical drugs designed and engineered to complement the pharmacokinetics of the clinical molecular target. The preparation of these unique drugs requires a source of radionuclide and the tools for subsequent synthesis of the drug incorporating the radionuclide. The facility will support electronic generation of specific short-lived, positron emitting radionuclides and the chemical synthesis of designed pharmaceutical agents.