IBEC’s BioImaging Facility opens with a new Nuclear Magnetic Resonance equipment.

IBEC’s new BioImaging Facility will host equipment to carry out 3 different imaging techniques. Its objective is to serve projects in various fields and strengthen IBEC’s scientific and technical infrastructure. In addition, it will be open to the entire scientific community. This month the first equipment, a state-of-the-art nuclear magnetic resonance scanner, has come into operation, which will be key to understanding different metabolic processes.

Research staff of the Molecular Imaging Laboratory for Precision Medicine next to the new Nuclear Magnetic Resonance scanner.

IBEC is working on the implementation of the new BioImaging Facility (bioimaging, in Spanish) that will be open to the entire scientific community. Its objective is to serve projects in fields as varied as chemistry, pharmacology, cell biology, neuroscience, microbiology, virology, and phototherapies. In addition, it will support the R+D  of in-vivo  experimentation for biomodels and animal models, for the study of new drugs and nanopharmaceuticals. This new facility will be equipped with unique scientific-technical equipment, as well as unique techniques.

This month the first equipment that will be part of the Facility has come into operation. It is a state-of-the-art Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) equipment, the only one in operation in Spain and one of the few in Europe, which has been funded by the Complementary Plan for Biotechnology Applied to Health (coordinated by IBEC) of the Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Generalitat de Catalunya.

The MRI is located in the laboratory of the Molecular Imaging for Precision Medicine group, led by Irene Marco-Rius. In addition to benefiting the research of this IBEC group, the equipment will also be available to a wide scientific and industrial community.

The new preclinical 3T nuclear magnetic resonance scanner will be key to understanding different metabolic processes, as it allows in vivo and real-time study. Experiments can be carried out on small animals in a non-invasive and non-destructive way, as well as allowing the analysis of metabolism also in cells in culture or organ-on-a-chip devices.

In addition to the MRI equipment, the BioImaging Facility is expected to host two other equipment: a system for imaging combining ultrasound with photoacoustics, for the study of precision medicine in neuronal applications, brain imaging and assessment of the effect of new drugs in animals and in vitro studies; and a multiphoton microscope for intravital fluorescence imaging that will allow the investigation of a wide range of biochemical processes from brain activity to cancer, infections and their treatment.

This new Facility represents a disruptive line of BioImaging that will strengthen IBEC’s scientific-technical infrastructure and benefit the scientific and industrial community, becoming a reference focus in bioengineering and biomedicine.

MRI installation time lapse

The preclinical 3T nuclear magnetic resonance scanner and the equipment that combines ultrasound with photoacoustics are financed by the Complementary Plan of Biotechnology Applied to Health, co-financed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation with funds from the European Union NextGenerationEU, the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR-C17. I1) and the Community of Catalonia.

The intravital multiphoton microscope is financed through a grant from the Ministry of Science and Innovation to IBEC, within the procedure for the granting of aid for the Acquisition of Scientific-Technical Equipment of the State Subprogram of Research Infrastructures and Technical Scientific Equipment (State Plan R + D + I 2017-2020).