HMRI Imaging Centre
The new HMRI Imaging Centre adjoins the HMRI Building, located on the John Hunter Hospital campus in Newcastle, NSW Australia.
In partnership with the University of Newcastle, the HMRI Imaging Centre is one of the first facilities in the world to house a state-of-the-art Siemens MAGNETOM Prisma 3T scanner devoted entirely to medical research imaging purposes.
- The MAGNETOM Prisma is a new flagship 3T MR system that is nearly twice as powerful as any other 3-Tesla MRI system available, with its 80/200XR gradients. This revolutionary new technology provides sharp, high-resolution pictures that allow fine structures to be viewed with minimal distortion while also providing new insights into how anatomy is structured and functions.
- The University of Newcastle purchased the Siemens scanner to join an elite group of world-renowned, top-tier research institutions using the cutting-edge technology. The unit is the first of its kind in Australia and boasts the most advanced scanning technology in the Southern Hemisphere.
- With the latest multichannel Radio Frequency technology and other high performance features, including a 64ch head/neck coil, it delivers significantly higher signal than any system before it.
- The MAGNETOM Prisma 3T’s magnet is 60,000 times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field and 6,000 times more powerful than a typical fridge magnet. At the same time it is considered safe for patients, including children, being free of radiation.
- Siemens developed the new MAGNETOM Prisma 3T as a commercialised version of a scanner created specifically to tackle the challenges of the multibillion-dollar international Human Connectome Project being funded by the Obama Administration and European Union.
- It affords researchers a clear insight into a raft of diseases and disorders – ranging from cancer to dementia, stress and stroke-related illness, chronic pain, concussion injuries and more.
- The HMRI Imaging Centre also features an EEG laboratory, as well as an Agilent 400MHz NMR pathology magnet used to analyse biopsy samples, giving researchers both visual and chemical references as diagnostic tools.
- The centre will give researchers fast, dedicated access to MRI scanning, relieving pressure on hospital clinical services and saving time.
Site enabling works for the facility commenced in August 2013, with specialist construction firm ACEPT Design assembling the prefabricated modules. Construction funding and scoping stemmed from the original HMRI Building project which was completed in 2012. The HMRI Imaging Centre was officially opened in March 2014.
A second MR scanning facility with connecting atrium is planned for a later construction phase, subject to funding availability.
READ MORE FROM THE OFFICIAL CENTRE OPENING HERE
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About Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Historically, Magnetic Resonance technology dates back to the 1930s but took a quantum leap with the introduction of computers in the 1980s. An MRI machine aligns hydrogen protons with the magnetic field then excites them with a radio frequency pulse. As the protons relax back to their normal state, the scanner is able to measure their responses and compile 2- or 3-dimensional maps of tissue types.
A scanning procedure for research generally lasts for anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes. A safety screening form is filled out prior to a scanning procedure to alert radiology staff that a patient has a pacemaker, metallic implants or electronic devices which may pose a health risk.
Credit cards, cameras or anything with magnetic encoding will be erased and metal objects such as pens, keys and scissors become potentially dangerous projectiles if taken into the scanning room.