Vice Chancellor launches UK’s first Magnetic Particle Image (MPI) Scanner 

From l to r: Dr Liam O'Brien, Professor Harish Poptani, Dr Marco Giardiello, Professor Tim Jones and Professor Ian Prior

This week saw the launch of the UK’s first Magnetic Particle Image (MPI) scanner at the 6th Annual Symposium of the University of Liverpool’s Centre for Pre-clinical Imaging (CPI) hosted by Professor Harish Poptani.

As part of Liverpool Shared Research Facilities (LIV-SRF), the event also highlighted the wider work of LIV-SRF as a collaborative unit spanning the Faculties of Health and Life Sciences and Science and Engineering. LIV-SRF is co-directed by Professors Ian Prior and Ronan McGrath.

The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Jones, inaugurated the event and gave an overview of the cross-Faculty collaboration that led to the acquisition of the MPI Scanner through a successful EPSRC award. He highlighted the increasing collaboration between the Faculties of Health and Life Sciences and Science and Engineering around management of research infrastructure, which has paved the way for a University-wide Liverpool Shared Research Facilities (LIV-SRF).

He said: “I’m delighted to open the new Magnetic Particle Image (MPI) scanner. The University of Liverpool has many world-class facilities, and opportunities for people to work with us in collaboration. I look forward to seeing great things coming out of what we do with this and other future research successes.”

CPI Chair Professor Harish Poptani said: “The CPI serves the people and community needs of the entire Northwest of England higher education community, as a one of a kind imaging facility, comprising several cutting-edge imaging technologies, mostly primarily funded by external grants. The £1M EPSRC award allowed us to purchase the Magnetic Particle Image (MPI) scanner, the first of its kind in the UK and only the twelfth in the entire world.

“The addition of this exciting new piece of technology further enhances the breadth of facilities and research capabilities we have available at Liverpool, and supports our ambitions to maximise our research infrastructure, remaining at the cutting edge of research in a sustainable way.”

Professor Paula Foster, from the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, who is well-known for her research in MPI, delivered the keynote lecture ‘An evolution of imaging technologies for tracking cells in vivo’ at the Symposium.

Professor Foster added:  “I am honoured to have been invited to the University of Liverpool to discuss my work in the field of cellular and molecular imaging and especially happy to share my lab’s most recent contributions on magnetic particle imaging (MPI).

“MPI is the first new imaging technique since MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) was commercialised in the 1980s. Canada’s only MomentumTM MPI scanner was installed in 2019 and my lab is now focused on advancing this newly emerging imaging technology. My colleagues and I are excited to collaborate with Professor Harish Poptani, Dr Marco Giardiello and others here, using the MomentumTM MPI scanner launched today at University of Liverpool.”

Additional speakers included Professor Mark Lythgoe from University College London, as well as several CPI users who showcased their latest research facilitated by the Centre’s state-of-the-art imaging capabilities.

Photo of the Magnetic Particle Image scanner