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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has become an essential technique in the field of neuroscience research. It makes it possible to obtain three-dimensional images of the brain with a millimetre resolution and in a completely non-invasive manner.
Thanks to functional MRI, researchers can localise brain activations in response to a given stimulus or requested action. The images acquired can also be coupled with the recording of physiological signals (heart rate, breathing rate etc.). The combination of all of this data makes it possible to define brain functionality more accurately.
At Campus Biotech, the MRI facility is entirely dedicated to neuroscience studies. This research demands sophisticated analysis at the forefront of technology and so the latest equipment is used. The scanner has the most modern and innovative MRI applications that make it possible to capture images of brain functions with better spatial and temporal resolution. The system for recording physiological signals contains various different modules allowing to the researchers to relate stimulation and brain images to the modulation of other physiological data.
The strong links between the MRI facility and the other facilities of the Human Neuroscience Platform allow the users to conduct multi-modal acquisitions. Thanks to these links, we can combine MRI acquisition with EEG recordings or TMS and tES stimulations. It also likewise possible to create virtual reality scenarios within the MRI where the movements of the avatar correspond to those of the participant and display them on MRI-compatible stereoscopic goggles
An MRI "Mock Scanner" simulator is also available so that researchers can elaborate their studies and better prepare participants for the MRI environment and the different tasks that they will have to perform.
In 2022, a new Ultra-High-Field 7 Tesla MRI system will be installed in the MRI facility. You can find more information about it HERE. This system is a cutting-edge technology permitting the researchers to study the brain with an unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution.
Scientific leadership of the platform is provided by Professors Olaf Blanke (EPFL), François Lazeyras (UNIGE and HUG), Dimitri van de Ville (EPFL and UNIGE), and Maria Isabel Vargas (HUG), and Patrik Vuilleumier (UNIGE).
Dr. Roberto Martuzzi (manager of the facility, FCBG), Ms. Loan Mattera (MR Technologist, FCBG), Ms. Nathalie Philippe (MR Technologist, FCBG), and Dr. Olivier Reynaud (MR Physicist, FCBG) are responsible for the coordination of the facility and for the smooth running of all the studies.