photo of UC Davis Imaging Research Center buildingThe Department of Radiology has several imaging laboratories within the UC Davis Imaging Research Center which provide the equipment and space to serve the needs of researchers.

The angiography research laboratory is a 611 sq. ft. facility located in the UC Davis Imaging Research Center. The facility consists of a lead-lined procedure room equipped with a Siemens Powermobile mobile C-arm fluoroscope with a 20kW generator and 0.3 and 0.5 focal spots and an OEC-Diasonics Fixed Angiographic/Surgical Table (FASTABLE) patient positioning system with 4-way manual float function. This system is suitable for vascular and cerebral vascular  imaging of animal models.

The lab maintains a Modulus gas anesthesia system with Ohmeda 7000 ventilator and halothane and isoflurane vaporizers, a Medrad Mark IV angiographic contrast power injector with EKG gating module, and an Acuson 128XP/10 Computed Sonography System with color Doppler, M-mode and B-mode and various linear and vector scan transducers. The lab is equipped with a variety of physiological monitoring equipment including cardiac output computers, and electromagnetic flow meters with various probe sizes.

Adjacent to the procedure room is a separate animal prep room with anesthesia induction system and a workroom with various analytical equipment such as centrifuges, –70C freezers, refrigerators, electronic balances, etc. The facility is maintained under Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) guidelines and conforms to the UC Davis Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) policies and procedures.

There is a ~1500 ft2 X-ray imaging laboratory, which holds a high output (angiographic)X-ray generator and X-ray tube for basic studies in X-ray imaging. This laboratory is completely dedicated to research, and houses a constant potential X-ray generator (Toshiba K2050) with two X-ray tubes. 

The laboratory includes minor fabrication capabilities (band saw, drill press), an electronics workbench (soldering tools, volt/ampere/impedance meters, regulated DC power supplies, breadboards, electronics parts, etc.), computer control capabilities (many stepping motors with drivers, power supplies, D/A boards for controlling stepping motors drivers, etc.), and optical bench components.  Five optical tables with components such as horizontal translation micro-positioners, vertical translation micro-positioners, rotary stages, vertical support rods, rod slides, and horizontal slides are available.  A custom-designed girder system for three-dimensional mechanical support of physical experimental setups was designed and manufactured for the laboratory. 

Imaging systems include two Peltier cooled Spectra Source 12 bit 1024×1024 CCD cameras, two Peltier cooled Princeton Instruments (Kodak Chips) 2048×2048 CCD camera, two Schick Industries dental CCD systems, and multiple ADC’s, DAC’s, and TTL control computer boards. Within this laboratory, two different dedicated computed tomography (CT) scanners are being built. One scanner is designed to image female breasts for breast cancer screening, but this system is capable of imaging specimens as well.  It utilizes a 110 kVp 6 mAs continuous x-ray source and a state of the art 1536 x 2048 pixel (194 mm) flat panel x-ray detector system.  The effective field of view of this scanner, which uses cone beam acquisition, is approximately 20 cm in diameter by 20 cm long.

A second scanner is under construction for mouse imaging, and this system uses a high-resolution (70 mm) X-ray tube (50 kVp, 1 mA max) coupled with a 1024 x 2048 pixel (50 mm) flat panel CMOS x-ray detector system. The system uses a rotating stage, and is designed to image the mouse in the coronal plane of the animal. With funding from the NIH, our scientists are building a computer cluster with up to 16 individual, rack-mounted 3.0 GHz computers. This cluster is used to process image data in parallel, reducing two hours of computation time to 7.5 minutes (for example).

A 1.5 Tesla GE Signa NV/i CV/i whole body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system housed in the UC Davis Imaging Research Center is available for radiology scientists and physicians to explore new data acquisition techniques for functional and structural body and brain imaging, and to evaluate new clinical applications. By virtue of its hardware performance specifications and installed software data analysis packages, this system is considered to be unsurpassed in its capabilities for neuroimaging and cardiac imaging.

A 3 Tesla Siemens TRIO whole-body MRI system, which will be dedicated to research activities, is being installed at the IRC and is scheduled to be ready for use in October 2004. This system will be equipped with advanced hardware and software capabilities for high resolution structural and functional brain imaging, high-speed cardiac and abdominal imaging, large vessel and peripheral angiography, quantitative flow measurements, perfusion imaging, diffusion tensor and spectral imaging, multi-channel head and body parallel imaging using radiofrequency (RF) coil arrays, and multinuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy including a 2nd channel for implementation of dynamic polarization spectroscopy.

In concert with the installation of the 3T TRIO MRI system, a new computing and informatics resources center is being created to support the processing, analysis, display and storage of raw data and images. Numerous computers are available for use with the necessary data acquisition hardware and test software for development of new pulse sequences and for real-time physiological monitoring of the patient, for a wide variety of basic science and clinical applications.

A laboratory for design and fabrication of MRI surface coils, which are the “detectors” used to acquire the signals from the scanner is being developed. Through cooperative research agreements signed with GE and Siemens, research and development can be undertaken by radiology faculty on both the 1.5T and 3T MRI systems.

An up-to-date research ultrasound imaging system is also present in the Imaging Research Center, and this system has been used extensively to develop and validate performance of radiofrequency tissue ablation technique.