Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Preclinical MRI provides a powerful, non-invasive window into tissue structure and function. Measures such as regional brain volumes, cortical thickness, magnetization transfer ratio, and cerebral blood flow are clinically translational biomarkers that are widely used in clinical trials of CNS diseases.
Biospective is one of the few CROs in the world that can provide a comprehensive breadth of brain MRI studies in rodent models of CNS diseases.
While we can acquire high-resolution, high-quality, multi-modality MRI scans, the real power comes from generating quantitative measures from these scans to assess the efficacy of therapeutic agents. We have a dedicated team of imaging scientists and software engineers that built our proprietary NIGHTWING™ software platform for fully-automated, objective image processing & analysis of rodent MRI scans.
Read more about how MRI can be used to accurately measure brain atrophy in rodent models of neurodegenerative diseases.
Learn more about our Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Services.
Discover more of our In Vivo Imaging Services
How long does an MRI scan of a mouse brain take?
It really depends on the type of scan (e.g. anatomical, diffusion, magnetization transfer). A typical scanning session to acquire an anatomical MRI scan for brain atrophy analysis is ~1 hour. This session includes animal positioning, scout scans, shimming, and a high-resolution anatomical scan.
What is the spatial resolution of Biospective's MRI scans?
The spatial resolution depends on the type of scan. For anatomical scans that we use for brain volume and cortical thickness analysis to measure brain atrophy, we typically acquire 3D whole brain scans with an isotropic resolution of 140 µm.
What magnetic field strength does Biospective use for mice and rats?
We perform our studies using a 7 Tesla small animal MRI scanner (Bruker BioSpec 70/30 USR). We have all of the RF coils, gradient inserts, and physiological monitoring systems to perform multi-modality MRI studies in mice and rats.
How does Biospective process rodent brain MRI scans?
Our team has developed a proprietary software platform called NIGHTWING™. NIGHTWING™ is modeled on our human brain image processing platform. It is unique in that it allows for fully-automated measures, such as neuroanatomical volumes and regional cortical thickness, from the entire mouse brain. The fully-automated nature of NIGHTWING™ eliminates unwanted intra- and inter-rater variability and allows us to rapidly process a large number of scans from our rodent model studies.
Is MRI expensive?
While MRI is more expensive than some of our other tests, it can be very cost-effective for several reasons:
- Allows assessment of drug efficacy as part of the in-life phase of the study
- Allows longitudinal measures from the same animal
- Can provide go-/no-go decision making for post-mortem studies (e.g. immunohistochemistry)
- Provides the best measures of brain atrophy