Facilities & Capabilities

We are currently operating two 3T MRs:

    Our new scanner is a Philips Elition 3.0 Tesla MRI scanner for MR imaging and spectroscopy. This is the first Elition to come to Canada and one of the first 10 Elition’s produced by Philips. Researcher who used our first MR, the Philips Achieva 3.0T, will find quite a difference in performance including:

  • Brain imaging on the Elition with the 32 channel head coil yields twice the signal to noise ratio we obtain with the 8 channel head coil on the Achieva
  • We have access to three approaches to speed up imaging on the Elition:
    • With the 32 channel coil, we can use much higher SENSE factors (parallel imaging) with typical accelerations of 5-10 (?) compared to around 2 on the Achieva.
    • The Elition has Compressed Sense which can speed up image acquisitions by up to 50% with minimal effect of SNR
    • With Multiband Excitation capability, 2D acquisitions, like DTI and EPI (for fMRI), are sped up by a factor of 4 to 8. This enables whole brain fMRI with TRs much less than 1 second
  • Combining the increased SNR with the faster scanning capability, for many MR sequences the Elition provides us with higher resolution images in substantially shorter time.
  • The Elition body coil contains two radio frequency transmitters which provide more uniform rf coverage at a substantially higher power. This is particularly useful for MR spectroscopy.
  • We have every coil that Philips produces including: 32 Channel Head, Head neck with two anterior sections, posterior spine in scan table, T/R head, Torso, Wrist array, Small extremity, Foot ankle array, T/R Knee array, Small and large microscope coils, Endo-Rectal, and 2 each of Flex-S, Flex-M and Flex-L coils.
  • We have ordered a custom built 8 channel head coil designed to accommodate transcranial magnetic stimulation with fMRI. We are also ordering custom dual 1H/31P and 1H/23Na coils.
  • The Elition can run all the applications that are currently available on the Achieva MR plus many new applications (too many to list here)
  • The new MRI Suite has an attractive multi-colour LED lighting arrangement and a SensaVue LCD monitor is available at the rear of the magnet bore for fMRI presentations. There is also a large LCD screen at the rear of the room which can show themed displays to aid in relaxing the subject.
  • Considerable effort was made to suppress acoustic noise from the Elition MR Scanner- as a result, it is not possible to hear the MR from the outside the Imaging Centre.
  • We are waiting for several Elition enhancements that are still in development including: new gradient amplifiers and coils which will enable shorter TEs and TRs, particularly for fMRI and DTI, a multi-nuclear spectrometer which will enable phosphorus and sodium imaging in the brain, new MRS software which will substantially improve the quality of MR spectra, new software which will provide spiral imaging which may be better than EPI for fMRI.

Our scanner is a Philips Achieva 3.0 Tesla MRI scanner for functional MR and spectroscopy. It has the following options:

  • Body coil
  • Parallel imaging (SENSE) technology
  • SENSE head coil (phased array head coil)
  • 3D Spectroscopy software
  • Multi-nuclear spectroscopy hardware
  • SENSE (phased array) spine coil
  • SENSE knee coil
  • SENSE torso coil
  • SENSE cardiac coil
  • 2 SENSE Flex L coils
  • SENSE Flex M coil
  • SENSE Flex S coil
  • MEDRAD power Injector

When purchasing this scanner great consideration was given to having a system capable of supporting all potential researchers using the MR Imaging Centre. One of the main features of the Philips magnet is that it is very compact in design, thereby making it less claustrophobic than the larger long bore scanners.

fMRI Presentation and analysis system

  • Back projection system for visual presentation
  • Dedicated presentation computer
  • LUMI touch response system - button press
  • AVOTEC Audio presentation system
  • CURRENT DESIGNS joystick


This complete MRI system enables our Imaging Centre to perform a very wide range of possible experiments on the Philips 3.0 Tesla scanner. The following is a sample of the types of measurements we support.

  • fMRI with a wide range of presentation protocols
  • Proton spectroscopy, single voxel, 2D and 3D with analysis
  • Diffusion imaging with fibre tracking capability
  • Angiography
  • Relaxation time measurements and analysis
  • Cardiac imaging
  • Perfusion