MR Solutions has installed Hawaii’s first preclinical cryogen-free MRI imaging system to help researchers improve the rate of kidney disease detection through research.

This is very good news for Hawaii which has a very high incidence of chronic kidney disease with one in seven residents on the island living with CKD. The research will focus on disease development and why Hawaiian residents of Japanese, Filipino, and Native Hawaiian descent appear to be more prone to kidney disease.

The 7T MRI imaging system, which was developed by MR Solutions, has been installed at the University of Hawaii’s Biology department in Manoa where it is being used to visualize soft tissue within the kidneys using a contrast agent – this highlights particular areas within the organ enabling researchers to identify any change over time.


MR Solutions’ 7T preclinical MRI imaging scanner at the University of Hawaii

Kevin Bennett, PhD,  a professor at the University of Hawaii, is the primary researcher on the project and has developed a unique contrast agent for use with the MRI system. Using Bennett’s contrast agent, the research team will be tracking changes within the kidney to see how the disease starts which will enable patients to receive earlier treatment.

“This is a much-needed resource to help detect kidney disease within the Hawaiian population – with a view to making it a thing of the past or at least reduce the likelihood of getting the disease,” Bennett says, adding that the MRI system will also support a wide range of other projects, including neuroscience, cardiovascular, molecular imaging, physiology, and genomics research.

MR Solutions’ preclinical cryogen-free MRI technology can be accommodated in most laboratories due to its compact size. As the system is cryogen-free, it does not require the costly helium top-ups necessary which are still the norm in older preclinical MRI settings.

MR Solutions is the only company in the world to offer a range of commercially available multi-modality MRI scanners from 3T to 9.4T, which does not require liquid helium. The company’s scanners can be wheeled into a lab compared to the helium cooled models which need their own room and substantial building modifications due to their size and weight.

For more information, visit MR Solutions.