Hardware Requirements for In Vivo Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Studies of Neural Metabolism

  • Hellmut Merkle
  • Phil Lee
  • In-Young Choi
Part of the Advances in Neurobiology book series (NEUROBIOL, volume 4)


Refined technological developments in the field of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), within the biomedical environment typically named magnetic resonance (MR), enable to noninvasively obtain biochemical, physiological, morphological, and anatomical information in vivo in both clinical and preclinical studies. Currently MR technologies are available for measuring high resolution anatomical images via e.g., T1- and T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), microscopic alterations of brain tissue via diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), cerebral blood flow via arterial spin labeling MRI, brain function via the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD)- MRI, and spatial distribution of neurochemicals via magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), to name a few examples. Furthermore, recent technical advances allow us to combine both NMR and positron emission tomography (PET) technologies, which provide simultaneous acquisition of high resolution anatomical MRI and molecular imaging with radioactive tracers within the magnet, therefore increasing diagnostic values through combining the strength of spatial resolution of MRI and detection sensitivity of PET.

This chapter provides an overview of various configurations and components of MR systems including magnets and gradients. Particular focuses have been employed in explaining the radiofrequency (RF) system, one of the most rapidly develop technologies, from the basic to the state-of-the-art components with various modes of RF system configurations and RF coils.


Gradients Magnetic resonance imaging Magnetic resonance spectroscopy Magnetic resonance system Phased array elements Radio frequency coil Shims 



This work was supported by the intramural program of the Laboratory for Functional and Molecular Imaging (LFMI), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland, USA. We gratefully acknowledge Mark Augath, Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen, Germany, for images of Figs. 2.15 and 2.16; Charles Zhu, Neuro Imaging Facility, NINDS, National Eye Institute, National Institute for Mental Health, NIH, for images of Fig. 2.20; Dr. Afonso Silva, Micro Circulation Unit, LFMI, NINDS, NIH, for images of Fig. 2.21.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Functional and Molecular ImagingNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Molecular & Integrative PhysiologyHoglund Brain Imaging Center, University of Kansas Medical CenterKansas CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Neurology, Department of Molecular and Integrative PhysiologyHoglund Brain Imaging Center, University of Kansas Medical CenterKansas CityUSA

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