“Another amazing installation that saw MRI 'scale new heights' has taken place at Osaka University’s Immunology Frontier Research Center (IFReC). The unique installation of a BioSpec® 117/11US with MRI CryoCoils™ in February 2012 is both the highest field, and the first horizontal, MRI system in Japan.”
This installation saw the large magnet and its external cooling system installed on the 3rd floor of the Center, a feat that required clever planning by our office in Japan, specialist cranes and access through windows halfway up the building!
As one of Japan’s five exclusive World Premier International Research Centers, IFReC engages in high-level research in the field of immunology, exploring the mechanisms that protect the body against various pathogens such as bacteria and virus.
IFReC aims to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of the immune system by employing not only traditional immunology experiments, but also a variety of imaging and bioinformatics technologies.
This will enable direct tracking of the dynamic behavior of immune cells and their cell-to-cell networks in order to clarify how immune cells respond to pathogens and cancers in vivo.
IFReC’s Biofunctional Imaging group, led by Professor Yoshichika Yoshioka, already uses an AVANCE 500WB with mini- and micro-imaging, but the new BioSpec 117/11 US system will significantly enhance their high performance bioimaging capability.
Opening closed doors!
The BioSpec installation began on a dark, cloudy day – February 22 2012, but the planning had started a long time before that.
The MRI room is on the third floor of the center and the magnet’s sheer size and weight meant it was impossible to make use of normal freight elevators.
Not that this would stop our talented engineers and installation specialists in Japan!
A solution was devised that would safely make use of an external connecting corridor to bring the system into the building.
Thus the team arranged for the connecting corridor to be reinforced by H type steel rigging and the use of special high-lift cranes for working in close proximity, at significant height, and with high precision.
When it came to installing the outdoor water chilling unit a special narrow crane was used at the rear of the building to gain access to the third floor.
The installation all went smoothly and very quickly and the Biofunctional Imaging group were soon up and running with their new magnet and system.
The final photo shows the BioSpec in its new home and Professor Yoshichika Yoshioka and Dr. Masaki Fukunaga of the Biofunctional Imaging group, with Mr. Takeo Domoto, Bruker NMR Sales Director for Japan.
The group’s main project is the development of non-invasive in vivo visualization of the immune system in small animals and humans using MRI and MRS to obtain information about structure, function, and metabolism simultaneously. For more information on IFReC and the Imaging group please visit: www.ifrec.osaka-u.ac.jp