The University of Glasgow, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and Siemens the scanner manufacturer have joined forces to bring an advanced 7-Tesla (7T) scanner to the city, along with a smaller, to a top-of-the-range 3T machine.
The 7T scanner will be installed in the new Imaging Centre of Excellence (ICE) Building at the South Glasgow University Hospital in August 2016, enabling the city’s scientists and clinicians to study the human body in greater resolution than ever before.
The 7T scanner will be among the most-powerful of its kind for use in a clinical research setting anywhere in the world, and being situated within the South Glasgow University Hospital will uniquely enable clinical research to take place that can only be performed through powerful, ultra-high frequency MRI.
The 3T is being installed in the adjacent Clinical Research Facility ready to scan patients involved in research trials and as part of their clinical pathway.
Professor Anna Dominiczak, Head of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow said: “These systems will provide us with best-in-the-world clinical imaging capability and significantly enhance the quality of research carried out in Glasgow.
“This initiative is testament to the strength of the partnership between academia, the NHS and industry that we have in the city. By locating the scanners at the South Glasgow University Hospital we are bringing advanced technology closer to patients, making it arguably the most accessible imaging capability of its kind in the world.”
The University of Glasgow has won significant external funding, from sources including the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund, European Regional Development Funding, the Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation and the Wolfson Foundation, to support its investment in these new state-of-the-art research facilities.
The 7T scanner will offer researchers the opportunity to learn more about a host of health conditions, initially focusing on brain diseases such as small blood vessel diseases, stroke, dementia, brain tumours, Parkinson’s, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
The 7T MRI scanner is more than double the size of the 3T and will be the centrepiece of the Imaging Centre of Excellence building, which will become a cutting-edge centre for the advancement of precision medicine.
Peter Harrison, Managing Director of Siemens plc Healthcare Division, stated: “Close partnerships between the NHS, academia and private companies are strengthening the ability to provide world class research in the UK.
“The state-of-the-art Siemens MAGNETOM 7T and 3T MR systems will provide South Glasgow University Hospital with the very best technology to aid clinical trials and research projects across major disease areas.
“The technology will focus initially on the brain, providing detailed insights into its structure, function and biochemistry and uncovering a number of physiological details that can only be seen through powerful, ultra-high frequency MRI.”
Aileen MacLennan, Director of Diagnostics for NHSGGC, said: “The patients of Greater Glasgow and Clyde currently benefit from access to 15 NHS-funded MR systems, including 3T scan capability.
“The addition of two advanced scanners to this imaging portfolio is very welcome. The enhanced image resolution available will provide opportunities for us to better understand and manage disease processes.
“Joint collaboration with the University has been a successful way of working for many years. This exciting development will enhance our international clinical research capability. We will also benefit in other ways as our MR team will be able to directly apply the lessons learnt to our ongoing clinical service.
“The first MR scanner in Glasgow was installed 31 years ago. The original scanner was installed to discover what diseases MR would be helpful to image. It is now time for us to make the next technological leap and discover what 7T has to offer us.”