Preclinical Imaging

A powerful magnet for investigating small animal anatomy and physiology

The Preclinical Imaging Facility (pcIMAG) provides comprehensive multiparametric MR imaging using a state-of-the-art 15.2 Tesla small animal MRI scanner (Bruker, Germany).The facility specializes in in vivo mouse imaging, while we also welcome other smaller model organisms. We also offer comprehensive data processing and visualization tools to help users get the best quality figures.


MR imaging

We offer an extensive list of services with focused applications in neuroscience, cardiac imaging, anatomical characterization of organ systems, and quantitative measurement of perfusion/mean transit time/blood volume. Among the specific applications, we offer cell labeling and tracking, and axonal tract tracing using manganese (Mn2+) MRI.

MR spectroscopy

State-of-the-art spectroscopy data acquisition with the 15.2 Tesla is feasible due to highly optimized shim procedures developed by Bruker Biospin (Ettlingen, Germany). We routinely perform spectroscopy of brain and liver.

Functional MRI

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a technique for measuring brain activity. Regions with higher activation show an increase in blood flow and thus oxygen. fMRI is a tool to measure changes in oxygen concentration and generate an activity map of the brain. This is the best way to study the influence of pharmacological, genetic, or environmental manipulations on brain function.

Quantitative image analysis

Quantitative image analysis can be done using information from various parameters such as transverse (T2) and longitudinal (T1) relaxation times, relative perfusion, blood volume, apparent diffusion coefficient, magnetization transfer ratio, and many more.

For more services, click here.


We provide access to a state-of-the-art Bruker Biospec 15.2 Tesla MRI scanner equipped with 1 T/m gradient and 11 cm-diameter bore size. The scanner is designed for virtually any small animal MR imaging application in life science, biomedical, and preclinical research.

  • Quadrature mouse coils for small animal head (23 mm diameter) and body (35 mm diameter) scans
  • Four-channel phase array coil for small animal head (23 mm diameter) and body (35 mm diameter) scans
  • 1H/19F mouse body coil for small animal body (35 mm diameter) scans on fluorine and proton frequency


Interested in using our services? Please contact facility head Jelena Zinnanti via e-mail: jelena.zinnanti(at) or via phone +43664808477140.

We are happy to provide MRI scanning and data analysis for you. Currently we do not offer user training, as background knowledge of MRI is required to operate the scanner. If users have previous experience with the Bruker scanner, exceptions can be made. The VBCF General Cooperation Conditions apply.

In case of co-authorship:
The Vienna BioCenter Core Facilities (VBCF) Preclinical Imaging Facility acknowledges funding from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research and the City of Vienna.

For acknowledging services by the Preclinical Imaging Facility:
The XXXXXX was performed by the Preclinical Imaging Facility at Vienna BioCenter Core Facilities (VBCF), member of the Vienna BioCenter (VBC), Austria.


RNA editing of Filamin A pre-mRNA regulates vascular contraction and diastolic blood pressure

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MAPK-activated protein kinase MK2 exerts immune regulatory functions in the microenvironment of orthotopic tumors
Soukup K, Halfmann A, Poyer F, Martin K, Blauensteiner B, Huber B, Kuttke M, Schabbauer G, Zopf L, Zinnanti J, Dohnal AM [abstract], Proceedings of the AACR Special Conference: Function of Tumor Microenvironment in Cancer Progression; 2016 Jan 7–10; San Diego, CA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2016;76(15 Suppl):Abstract nr A43


Mutations in MAST1 Cause Mega-Corpus-Callosum Syndrome with Cerebellar Hypoplasia and Cortical Malformations

Tripathy R. et al., Neuron 2018 Dec19; 100(6): 1354-1368. e5. doi: 10.1016/ j.neuron.2018.10.044. Epub 2018 Nov 15.

Mutations in the murine homologue of TUBB5 cause microcephaly by perturbing cell cycle progression and inducing p53-associated apoptosis.
Breuss M, Fritz T, Gstrein T, Chan K, Ushakova L, Yu N, Vonberg FW, Werner B, Elling U, Keays DA, Development 2016 143: 1126-1133

Quantification of plaque lipids in the aortic root of ApoE-deficient mice by 3D DIXON magnetic resonance imaging in an ex vivo model.
Dietel B, Budinsky L, Kuehn C, Uder M, Achenbach S, Hess A, Eur Radiol. 2015 Mar;25(3):736-44

Human CLP1 mutations alter tRNA biogenesis, affecting both peripheral and central nervous system function.
Karaca E, Weitzer S, Pehlivan D, Shiraishi H, Gogakos T, Hanada T, Jhangiani SN, Wiszniewski W, Withers M, Campbell IM, Erdin S, Isikay S, Franco LM, Gonzaga-Jauregui C, Gambin T, Gelowani V, Hunter JV, Yesil G, Koparir E, Yilmaz S, Brown M, Briskin D, Hafner M, Morozov P, Farazi TA, Bernreuther C, Glatzel M, Trattnig S, Friske J, Kronnerwetter C, Bainbridge MN, Gezdirici A, Seven M, Muzny DM, Boerwinkle E, Ozen M; Baylor Hopkins Center for Mendelian Genomics, Clausen T, Tuschl T, Yuksel A, Hess A, Gibbs RA, Martinez J, Penninger JM, Lupski JR, Cell , Volume 157 , Issue 3 , 636-650