MRI / NMR High Field Imaging Core

Welcome to the MRI / NMR High-Field Imaging Core information page.  This core offers imaging and spectroscopy services to BU investigators and external users.  It houses a state of the art Bruker 500 MHz magnetic resonance imager and a Bruker EPR system.

The very high field imager (11.7T) is specifically designed to image small rodents and tissues, using 30 mm sample holders.  Two imaging probes are available.  One is equipped with four different cylindrical sample coils, 5, 10, 20, and 30 mm in diameter.  It is ideal for extended, ex vivo MR microscopy, accommodating tissues of various sizes.  The other probe has an ergonomically designed mouse cradle, and is meant for in vivo imaging experiments.  Both probes are capable of high resolution; pixel resolution of 80 mm is routine and with the smaller sample coils, resolution up to 25 mm can be achieved.  The lab contains a dedicated inhalation anesthesia machine as well as MRI compatible monitoring equipment for extended experiments.  Technical expertise is available in designing advanced pulse sequences, and in handling mice.

The imager can be converted to a high resolution spectrometer, with a full range of NMR experimental capability, including 2 and 3D experiments.  A 5 mm inverse probe for proton experiments and a 10 mm broadband probe are available. We also have developed image-guided spectroscopy, which we have applied to atherosclerotic plaque to detect lipid signals in voxels as small as 1 mm3. Read more on the instruments and their capabilities.


The knowledge and experience of the personnel are extensive.  The head of the facility is James Hamilton, PhD, Professor of Biophysics and Physiology at BUMC, with 35 years experience in NMR spectroscopy, and several years of recent experience in MRI.  The staff and students associated with the facility have experience in computer science, physics and pulse program design.  Staff members are certified by the Laboratory Animal Science Center. Thus, the facility provides a unique resource for the BU community.

All new projects must first be discussed with the Director Dr. Hamilton to determine feasibility and initiate planning of experiments. For extended projects, we will train new investigators and provide expert consultation.

Contact Information
James A. Hamilton, PhD
Scientific Director
Dept of Physiology and Biophysics
Boston University School of Medicine
700 Albany Street, W-302
617-638-5048 |
Ning Hua, PhD
Lab Manager
Evans Biomedical Research Center
650 Albany Street, X-350
Boston MA 02118
617-638-4874 |

Services and Rates

Service Hourly Rates
MRI In Vivo – Assisted $149
MRI In Vivo – Unassisted $97
MRI Ex Vivo ** $56
Data Analysis $87
Training $102

** Overnight is charged 4h