Following a joint project application submitted by Univ. Prof. Dr. Siegfried Trattnig at the Excellence Centre for High-Field MR, Medical University of Vienna (MUV), and Siemens Austria, the sum of 2 million euros was granted as part of the Vienna Spots of Excellence Program of the Centre of Innovation and Technology, City of Vienna (ZIT).
Vienna Spots of Excellence are close research cooperation projects of several years’ duration between companies and research institutions. They are initiated by companies in Vienna.
Worldwide reference centre for clinical applications on 7 Tesla
”VIenna Advanced CLinical Imaging Center (abbreviated to VIACLIC)” is the name of the aided project: “A technological and scientific joint venture for clinical concepts in functional and metabolic imaging at whole-body ultra-high-field MRI and MR-PET“. The ambitious goal of this project is to make the Excellence Centre “High-field MR” at the Medical University of Vienna (MUV) a worldwide reference centre for clinical applications on 7T (Tesla) for Siemens Medical Solutions, just as Martinos Center in Boston is a reference centre for hardware development on 7T for Siemens Company. Thus, pertinent research and development conducted at Siemens Company can be brought to Vienna.
The Excellence Centre "High-field MR" at MUV
The Excellence Centre "High-field Magnetic Resonance (MR)" emerged from a research group that has been working for several years in an interdisciplinary manner. Initially a small group, it developed into a facility of substantial size within a few years by successfully conducting a number of projects. It now consists of 20 staff members and is well established in the scientific community.
Its foundation was established by the installation of the first whole-body 3-Tesla high-field MR tomography unit in the world (still the first one in Austria) in 1996 at the University Clinic of Radiodiagnostics, Medical University of Vienna, and the establishment of an interdisciplinary scientific environment in cooperation with several clinics and research institutes.
The first 7-Tesla whole-body magnetic resonance tomography unit in the world was installed in the spring of 2008. It ensured pioneering top research in the field of magnetic resonance imaging at the Medical University of Vienna. Following this installation, MedUni Vienna advanced into the top echelon of research in Europe. Currently about twenty such ultra-high-field devices exist in the world. Today magnetic resonance (MR) technology in general is regarded as the motor of modern medical diagnosis because of its versatile possibilities of application and its absence of radiation compared to computed tomography (CT). In order to successfully participate in current worldwide research, a suitable high-field MR scanner in the field strength range of 7 Tesla has been put into operation at MedUni Vienna.
Working in association with one of the most modern hospitals in Europe, the Vienna General Hospital, the Centre is marked by its unique and outstanding potential throughout the world in respect of technical and method-based development in MR basic research and high-resolution imaging, as well as with regard to clinical research in the fields of neurofunctional and spectroscopic imaging.
Several years of experience in these fields are expected to lead to improved clinical application of high-field MR technology. This permits, for the first time, the use of methods extending beyond pure morphology to achieving better diagnosis at the molecular, functional and metabolic level in the presence of various diseases such as:
• Brain tumours
• Neurodegenerative diseases (multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease)
• Neurological-psychiatric diseases
• Metabolic diseases (diabetes)
• Cartilage damage (pre- and postoperative)
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