The MRI Centre was established in 1993-1994 and officially opened in January 1996.

The Centre is distributed over seven principal laboratories, including four MRI instrument labs, two sample preparation labs, and an image data analysis lab. Six principal MR/MRI systems are the basis of the MRI Research Centre. These include an Oxford 0.2 Tesla vertical bore permanent magnet based instrument, an Oxford 0.05 Tesla vertical bore permanent magnet based instrument, a 4.7 Tesla, 8 cm vertical bore magnet with a Tecmag Redstone console. Two low field Lapnmr based systems run single side and portable magnets of our design. A variable field, cryogen free superconducting magnet based instrument, from MR Solutions, was installed in 2017. In addition, the Centre operates a Garfield stray field imaging magnet.

The majority of our recent work has involved imaging methods developed at UNB which permit rapid flexible and quantitative MRI of short relaxation time nuclei. SPRITE and its derivatives permit investigation of a large range of experimental systems which are inaccessible to conventional MRI methods. In recent years we have developed a suite of low field portable magnets for dedicated MR analyses.

The MRI Centre includes an electronics work bench and facilities for the construction and testing of RF probes. The MRI Center also has dedicated chemistry laboratory equipment as well as a separate sample preparation lab. These labs include a water still which produces doubly distilled water, two controlled temperature/humidity environmental test chambers, and a small mechanical workshop.

A data analysis laboratory housing a small library/meeting and a variety of computers is located next to the magnet labs. This facilitates close interaction between students working on various projects. We employ MatLab for image and data analysis, in addition to simulation. CST is employed for electromagnetic simulation. All computers in the lab are fully networked and are connected via the network to several high resolution laser printers in the MRI Centre.

Current research work is progressing rapidly on several fronts in parallel.
1. Fundamental work on MR/MRI pulse sequence development. This work is intended to expand the range of applicability and flexibility of our techniques while simultaneously increasing experimental sensitivity.
2. Development of novel MR/MRI hardware and data processing methods particularly as it relates to industrial MR and MRI applications.
3. Application of our techniques to problems in material science, condensed matter physics, and porous media. Our applications work is undertaken in collaboration with a wide range of academic and industrial research laboratories world-wide.

MRI Centre Layout as of 2022

Floor plan 2022

The above schematic shows the layout of the MRI Centre, and the location of major pieces of equipment within the facility. The total floor area is approximately 4400 square feet.


Contact Information
The University of New Brunswick
Department of Physics
Bruce Balcom
Last update: October 2022