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Preclinical Imaging Core


Effective Feb 1, 2021, New Triennial Training Requirement for All Animal Researchers Using Rodents

  Caveat:  *** "Failure to complete the training requirement will delay the protocol approval process. " 

  More information can be found:



Research Resources Center (RRC) cores are back on campus to provide services and access to shared equipment (when possible), there are new guidelines issued by each core due to COVID19. Please reference each core’s new user guidelines before requesting services, projects, or scheduling equipment. All questions or inquiries must be sent by email to respective core.


March 15, 2020


Notice to all Research Resources Center Customers


In order to minimize COVID-19 spread, the Research Resources Center, Preclinical Imaging Core is implementing the following temporary mandatory guidelines for using this core:

  • All customers entering the core space must wear new, clean gloves
  • If there is a need to remove gloves, wash your hands with soap frequently and for at least 20 seconds. Do not touch your face or other individuals. Replace gloves as soon as possible
  • Instead of shaking hands, exchange greetings with a wave, bow, or nod
  • Try to keep at least one meter/three feet distance between yourself and others
  • Disinfect anything you used during your visit with 70% ETOH or other disinfectant after every use
    • Anesthesia machine in B07 and B29
    • Items in animal holding room (B32)
    • Computers
    • Animal holders
    • RF coils
    • MRI console
    • Water chillers
    • Animal air heating system
    • Animal surgical tools
    • Any other equipment used in the core


Thank you,

Preclinical Imaging Core & Research Resources Center Administration



Overview of Services

The Preclinical Imaging Core (PIC) facility aims to promote Small Animal Imaging for all researchers. PIC facility houses: 1) a 31cm bore size 9.4T Agilent MRI system that can provide the full support of MRS and MRI studies in small animals (including mouse, rat, rabbit and piglet); MRI provide excelent contrast for anatomical and functional imaging of brain, cardiac, liver, muscle etc. 2) a 129Xe hyperpolarizer that provides high-purity, hyperpolarized 129Xe for gas phase magnetic resonance studies. 3) two sets of isofluorane anesthesia system, body temperature control, and vital signs monitoring system that provide fully support of MRI studeis; 4) two sets of home-designed isolation chamber systems for infected animals and animals from extramural research projects.


Our 31cm bore size 9.4T Agilent MRI system can provide the full support of MRS and MRI studies in animals with size up to 15cm in diameter. Our current system includes a complete set of three heavy duty and efficient gradient coils (305/210HD, 300A, 600mT/m, 205/120 HD, 300A, 600mT/m; and 115/60 HD, 200A, 1000mT/m). Task designated imaging RF coils are available to improve the MR image quality. An isofluorane anesthesia system, body temperature control, and vital signs monitoring system (i.e., temperature, respiration and ECG) plus an MRI-compatible small animal gating system (SA Instruments) are installed to permit free-breathing acquisition during quantitative MRI measurements . The 9820 129Xe hyperpolarizer provides a routine supply of high-purity, hyperpolarized 129Xe for gas phase magnetic resonance studies. The polarizer is installed near the 9.4 T MRI suite and processes a custom mixture of unpolarized 129Xe, N2, and 4He, into one or more doses of pure hyperpolarized 129Xe that is available for magnetic resonance studies. The hyperpolarized 129Xe is then thawed and dispensed into a container or bag. Once dispensed into an appropriate container, and maintained within a modest holding magnetic field, the polarization relaxes with a T1 of 1-2 hours


Weiguo Li, PhD Director 312-413-5638

Location and hours of operation

Hours Location


 *Staffed Monday-Friday 9AM-5PM 

 Room B01, Building NMRL

830 S Wood St
 Chicago, IL. 60612 

Links and Resources


Name Role Phone Email Location
Weiguo Li