Two workers in hard hats moving MRI equipment

University Facilities Planning and Design staff directed the installation of the state-of-the-art Toshiba Vantage Titan 3 Tesla MRI scanner on April 12.

Special Delivery: 7-Ton MRI to Aid Groundbreaking Research at UB

Published April 17, 2014

A 7-ton magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner for biomedical research has been successfully delivered to its new seventh-floor home in the University at Buffalo’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

“With this new scanner, we have unlimited opportunities to do dedicated studies where we can get much more informative answers to specific research questions.”
Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD
Professor of neurology and director of MRI, CTRC Molecular and Translational Imaging Center
Worker in hard hat hoisting equipment

The mammoth machine was delivered by a specially designed tractor-trailer and hoisted seven stories by crane.

Upon arriving from California on a customized tractor-trailer, the Toshiba Vantage Titan 3 Tesla MRI scanner was hoisted seven stories by crane and placed in UB’s year-old Molecular and Translational Imaging Center. To accommodate the special delivery, installers had to remove an overhead garage door-like panel on the back of the building.

The CTRC obtained the powerful, state-of-the-art scanner on consignment through a research partnership agreement with Toshiba.

Soft Tissue Imaging Now Possible

The colossal imager will allow researchers to view soft tissue throughout the human body, including the heart and brain, facilitating noninvasive neurological and cardiovascular translational research.

“With this new scanner, we have unlimited opportunities to do dedicated studies where we can get much more informative answers to specific research questions,” says Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and director of MRI at the imaging center.

The machine will aid researchers seeking insight into numerous diseases, including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke.

It will be used to develop specific MRI biomarkers for diagnosing and managing neurological diseases. The scanner also will help researchers determine the best, most cost-effective methods for using MRI to assess diverse patients.

Some of the information this scanner makes possible could previously only be obtained from biopsies or autopsies, notes Ferdinand Schweser, PhD, assistant professor of neurology and MRI physicist at the imaging center.

Cutting-Edge Imaging Center Devoted to Research

The scanner joins other cutting-edge equipment in the imaging center, a facility devoted solely to clinical and preclinical research.

Researchers from the neighboring Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center will be among the first to use the new MRI. Part of UB’s neurology department, this center is a leader in developing clinical applications for MRI.

UB’s biomedical research partners on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus also will use the equipment.

The CTRC is located on the campus at 875 Ellicott St. near the heart of downtown Buffalo. UB’s new, state-of-the-art medical school, set for completion in late 2016, is under construction on the same campus.