Magnetic Resonance Imaging

The Department of Radiology at the Institute of Diagnostics, University of Oulu together with Department of Radiology, Oulu University Hospital hosts advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technologies for ex vivo, in vivo animal and human in vivo imaging. The ultimate goal of our services is to generate knowledge and experimental evidence for better and more effective assessment and treatment of human disease and injury. We have an extensive program of collaboration with leading international MRI researcher centers.

Experimental MRI system

The goal of the animal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) facility is to provide internal body soft tissue characterization at high (150 µm in-plane) resolution. Our services provide means for a non-invasive and long-term surrogate marker investigation. We are equipped with a 4.7 tesla MRI scanner which enables living small animal imaging (from mice to rabbits). Using a large range of MRI techniques we address important biomedical questions by detecting physical injuries and diseases, their progression and treatment responses. Techniques are also applicable to in vitro biological samples, which in combination with histological information provide better understanding of biophysical mechanisms behind diseases.

Our laboratory offers imaging of several soft tissue types such as white and grey matter, muscle and spinal cord. Several clinically relevant imaging contrasts are provided (T1, T2, proton density, diffusion) as well as many of the modern techniques (T1rho, T2rho, adiabatic T1rho, hydroxyl, amine and amide). Techniques may be applied to quantify changes in tissue volume, water content, microstructure, white matter connectivity, cerebral blood flow, metabolic content and many another variables.

Clinical MRI system

The clinical 3 tesla MRI  system is equipped with a state-of-the art coils, including 32-channel head coil for functional MRI, and coils enabling whole body imaging setup. Knee, ankle, wrist and shoulder joints are imaged with 16-channel dedicated coils. We also have a 8-channel small animal coil with a temperature control unit, enabling scanning of anaesthetized mice and rats. Patient monitoring and ventilation devices are available also for general anaesthesia of humans.

With isotropic 3D sequences, a resolution of 0.6mm is achievable. With more traditional two-dimensional sequences, a slice thickness of 2-3 mm and in-plane resolution of 0.3mm provide feasible image quality. All clinically relevant contrasts are provided (T1, T2, proton density, diffusion) with different fat saturation strategies, as well as dynamic and bolus tracking angiography sequences for contrast enhanced angiography. Also time-of-flight and phase contrast sequences for native angiographies are provided.

Contact information:

Responsible scientist & Main user, Experimental MRI system:

Joonas Autio, MSc
Department of Radiology, University of Oulu
tel. +358 40 9693822
email joonas.autio(at)

Responsible scientist & Main user, Clinical MRI system:

Eveliina Lammentausta, PhD
Department of Radiology, Oulu University Hospital
tel. +358 8 315 2662
email. eveliina.lammentausta(at)

Senior Scientists:

Miika Nieminen, PhD, professor (medical physics)
Department of Radiology, University of Oulu
tel. +358 8 3152462
email miika.nieminen(at)

Roberto Blanco, MD, PhD, professor (radiology)
Department of Radiology, University of Oulu
tel. +358 44 5922092

Last updated: 15.1.2013