UW–Madison is the only academic institution in the United States with state-of-the-art medical imaging platforms dedicated for swine (and other large animal) research use. The available imaging modalities are outlined in the table below.
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MRI and Simultaneous PET/MR Scanners
Only scanners primarily dedicated for large animal research are described below: two 3.0T systems (Signa Premier and Discovery MR 750), and a PET/MR system (Signa PET/MR). In addition, research time can be arranged on six other clinical MRI scanners that are available, including wide-bore (70cm) 1.5T and 3.0T scanners. A wide variety of RF coils and other hardware is also available for use in imaging studies.
Ongoing research is focused on developing new acquisition and reconstruction methods for enhancing the capabilities of clinical MR imaging. Current projects focus on rapid imaging, non-Cartesian acquisition methods, anatomic vascular imaging, flow imaging of blood and other fluids, hyperpolarized gas imaging in the lungs and other areas, high temporal resolution imaging of contrast agent kinetics, functional rain mapping, high temporal- and spatial-resolution breast imaging, high spatial-resolution cartilage imaging, pressure mapping, interventional MRI applications, parallel imaging methods, anatomic and functional renal imaging, chemical-shift-based imaging (e.g., fat and water separation), and many other topics.
WIMRMR1 is a 3.0 T MRI scanner (GE Healthcare Signa Premier, Waukesha, WI) located in room 1247 of the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR).
Installation was completed in July 2018. It contains state-of-the-art hardware and software, and is a dedicated research resource. The bore diameter is 70 cm. The system has up to 146 receiver channels and a variety of radiofrequency transmit and/or receive coils.
WIMRMR2 is a 3.0 T MRI scanner (GE Healthcare Discovery MR750, Waukesha, WI) located in the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR). It was installed in 2009. It contains state-of-the-art hardware and software. It is a dedicated research resource. The system has 32 receivers and a variety of radiofrequency transmit and/or receive coils.
- 3T Quadrature Head Coil by GE Healthcare
- 3T 8 Channel High Resolution Brain Coil by Invivo
- 3T 8 Channel Neurovascular Coil by USA Instruments
- 3T 8 Channel Shoulder Coil by NeoCoil
- 3T 3 Channel Shoulder Coil by USA Instruments
- 3T 8 Channel Breast Coil by USA Instruments
- 3T 8 Channel Cardiac Coil by USA Instruments
- 3T 8 Channel Torso Coil by USA Instruments
- 3T Single Channel Birdcage Wrist Coil by Mayo Clinic
- 3T 8 Channel T/R Knee Coil by Invivo
- 3T Single Channel Extremity Coil by Invivo
- 3T 8 Channel Foot/Ankle Coil by Invivo
- 3T Single Channel GP Flex Coil by GE Healthcare
WIMRPETMR1 is a PET/MR scanner (GE Signa PET/MR, GE Healthcare, Waukesha WI), consisting of a 3.0 T MRI system with an integrated PET scanner, located in room B1258B of the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR). It was installed in 2015. It is capable of simultaneous acquisition of PET and MR images. The system is a shared clinical and research resource. The system has 32 receivers and a variety of radiofrequency transmit and/or receive coils. The bore diameter is 60 cm.
The maximum gradient strength of the MRI system is 33 mT/m, and the time necessary to reach this maximum strength is 276 microseconds, for a gradient slew rate of 120 mT/m/msec. The system has 32 receivers and a variety of radiofrequency transmit and/or receive coils. The bore diameter is 60 cm. The PET system contains state-of-the-art silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) detectors, and can reconstruct images with or without time-of-flight (TOF) and point-spread function modeling (SharpIR). The extended S/I coverage (25 cm) of the PET system results in improved detection sensitivity, which may allow for reduced doses of radiopharmaceuticals. Attenuation and scatter corrections are achieved through MR-based or atlas-based attenuation correction methods. The PET spatial resolution is approximately 4.0 mm. Cardiac and respiratory gating is possible for both PET and MR imaging.
- Quadrature Transmit-Receive Head Coil by GE Healthcare
- 32 Channel Head Coil by GE Healthcare
- 8 Channel Head Coil by GE Healthcare
- Head-Neck Array by GE Healthcare
- Upper Anterior Array by GE Healthcare
- Lower Anterior Array by GE Healthcare
- Central Matrix Array by GE Healthcare
- CMA Proxy by GE Healthcare
- GEM Flex Small Array by GE Healthcare
- GEM Flex Medium Array by GE Healthcare
- GEM Flex Large Array by GE Healthcare
- 3-inch Loop Coil by MR Instruments
The molecular imaging research program at UW–Madison is composed of a multi-disciplinary team including researchers, physicians, radiopharmaceutical production staff, technologists, supporting staff, and graduate students. The primary focus of the program is to develop new molecular imaging agents, translate new molecular imaging agents into the clinic, and discover new applications of existing molecular imaging agents. UW houses world-class infrastructure fostering research along the entire chain of molecular imaging – from radioisotope production to image analysis. Equipment available to researchers includes a cyclotron, a GMP radiopharmaceutical production facility, clinical and pre-clinical PET/CT scanners, a PET/MR scanner, and computing resources.
UW is actively developing and testing new molecular imaging agents for clinical use in diagnosis and treatment response assessment. Radiopharmaceuticals being tested for clinical applications include: 18F-DCFPyL, a prostate-specific membrane antigen PET agent that has been shown to be highly effective in prostate cancer detection; 18F-FLT, a marker of proliferation that has promising applications in treatment response assessment for various cancers and therapies; and 124I-CLR1404, a phospholipid ether analogue developed at UW that has demonstrated selective uptake in a variety of tumor models.
Molecular imaging agents being developed and tested in a pre-clinical environment include a wide variety of labeled peptides, proteins, antibodies, and antibody fragments for PET, optical, and photoacoustic imaging, as well as multimodal molecular imaging agents that can provide complementary and/or synergistic information via combinations of these imaging techniques. In addition, UW is expanding the critical roles that molecular imaging can play in image-guided drug delivery to cancer and various other diseases with biocompatible/biodegradable nanomaterials (e.g., silica-based, polymer-based, among others).
For clinically-available molecular imaging agents, UW is discovering new methods and applications in quantitative PET imaging. Research interests include quantitative imaging biomarkers of treatment response, automated analysis of 18F-NaF PET/CT imaging, applications of machine learning to PET/CT image analysis, quantitative harmonization of PET scanners, PET/MR imaging, and PET tumor segmentation algorithms, among others.
UW’s molecular imaging research program is enriched by its many collaborative relationships with other departments and institutions. Notably, collaborations between UW and General Electric Healthcare have led to multiple joint molecular imaging research projects. Additionally, through the Wisconsin Oncology Network for Imaging Excellence (WONIX) initiative, UW collaborates with various institutions throughout Wisconsin, providing access to advanced molecular imaging agents, clinical trials, and centralized image analysis.
The Cyclotron Gang is first and foremost a research group, actively pursuing novel accelerator targetry and radiochemistry for the production of radionuclides that are useful in medical diagnosis, disease treatment, basic science and industrial applications.
They produce numerous radionuclides (Cu-64, Zr-89, Mn-52g, As-72/74, Y-86, Br-76/77, and more) weekly for national distribution. For more than three decades, they have been making shorter-lived radiotracers for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to support preclinical and clinical research locally and throughout the state of Wisconsin.
Only the scanner primarily dedicated for large animal research is described below. In addition, research time can be arranged on four other clinical CT scanners that are available.
The Department of Radiology at UW–Madison is engaged in cutting-edge research spanning the full spectrum of basic science, translational research, and clinical quality management in Computed Tomography (CT). The infrastructure includes state-of-the-art CT scanners, radiologists, physicists, dedicated research technologists, and a host of other research support personnel. The department has collaborative relationships with other departments throughout UW Health and across the UW campus, including the departments of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering.
The department has a variety of GE Healthcare CT scanners available for basic science and clinical translational research. Ranging from 32 to 256 slices, the scanners are state-of-the-art and feature the latest iterative dose-reducing reconstruction technologies as well as dual-energy imaging capabilities. Time is available for research on a dedicated research CT scanner located in the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR) facility. The research scanner is a Revolution HD Discovery 750 system. This scanner is located adjacent to two MR systems (both 3T) and near an interventional bi-plane cone beam CT system and an operating suite, facilitating multi-modality research studies. Our facility has access to a micro CT unit and a cone beam CT unit for those interested in comparing these modalities for a specific imaging task. To date, UW CT protocols have shipped to over 600 locations around the world as part of our research collaboration with GE Healthcare.
WIMRCT1 is a 64-slice CT scanner (Model Discovery 750 HD/Revolution GSI, manufactured by GE Healthcare, Waukesha, WI) located in room 1241 of the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR). It was installed in 2009. It is used primarily for research purposes. This scanner has a bore diameter of 70 cm and z-axis coverage of 40 mm. This scanner is equipped with iterative reconstruction options including Veo and ASiR, which are software features used for reducing image noise and/or reducing the dose of ionizing radiation. It also is offers dual energy scanning, which allows electron density and “material decomposition” images to be produced.
The D710 and Discovery MI PET/CT scanners by GE Healthcare are ACR accredited and available for clinical and research studies. The D710 collects data in 3D mode and can reconstruct images with or without time-of-flight (TOF) and point-spread function modeling (SharpIR). This system also has options for cardiac and respiratory (Varian RPM) gating. The Discovery MI offers up to a 2x increase in spatial resolution, the ability to reduce CT dose by up to 82 percent, and significantly better small lesion detectability. It also has the highest NEMA sensitivity and highest NECR of any TOF PET/CT system on the market.
The Departments of Medical Physics and Radiology at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) provides a rich environment for performing research in Ultrasound Imaging (US). The infrastructure includes a wealth of equipment, support staff, and researchers with clinical and technical expertise.
Available dedicated research instruments include the state-of-the-art Siemens S3000, Siemens S2000, Supersonic Imaging Aixplorer, GE Logiq E9, and soon, a new Siemens Acuson Sequoia.
Housed within Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR) is a core group of investigators specializing in US research. This is a multi-disciplinary group, composed of faculty, post-docs, and students from the Departments of Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Radiology, and others. The main emphasis of the research is developing new acquisition and analysis methods for enhancing the capabilities of clinical US imaging. Current projects focus on shear wave elastography, investigations of the underlying collagen microstructure of tissues, breast elastography, multi-scale/multi-modality imaging, platelet rich plasma injections and many other topics.
US research is performed by a number of investigators beyond the core group as well. Within UW–Madison and throughout UW Health, there is a long-standing tradition of inter-departmental and inter-disciplinary collaborations that are necessary for advancing clinical and basic science. Working together, we foster an integrated ultrasound research program that is multidisciplinary in dimension and international in scope. The pillars of our program are acoustic theory, innovative development and clinical implementation.
The Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR) angiography laboratory is equipped with a Siemens Biplane Artis zee system. This system supports two iscocentric imaging positions and allows for increased positioning flexibility. In addition, the biplane compact and rotating detectors allow for exceptional coverage and unrestricted patient access.