MRI bore

NeuRA Imaging Centre


NeuRA has made a 3T MRI scanner available for research since 2003. The current scanner is a Philips 3T TX MRI (upgraded May 2010).

The facility currently operates for research 50% of the time and is open for research to scientists on a merit-based, user pays basis. It supports an active MRI research community of researchers from UNSW, The University of Sydney, Macquarie University and The University of Western Sydney as well as researchers from interstate and international sites as required.


Troubleshooting those MRI button boxes

We know those Lumina MRI button boxes can be troublesome when it comes to collecting data during a scan. Make sure you know how to set them up and test them properly before scanning starts by viewing these “How-to” video on our MRI Safety and Methods page.

Collect your MRI data via Hippocampus

We’ve recently launched a new way of grabbing your imaging data after scanning. By logging into the Hippocampus website, you can retrieve your data from any computer up to two weeks after your scan session in DICOM format. Please see Dr Michael Green for more details if you’d like your research group to obtain data via Hippocampus.

New MRI simulator computer

After the upgrade of the software on the MRI scanner, we have had to upgrade our simulator computer (more RAM, faster processor) to run the more complex code. We are in the process of setting the software up on the computer for offline examcard, patch and protocol setup for R 5.1.7.

See what’s going on at NeuRA



Comparison of measurements of medial gastrocnemius architectural parameters from ultrasound and diffusion tensor images.

Bolsterlee B, Veeger HE, van der Helm FC, Gandevia SC, Herbert RD

In vivo measurements of muscle architecture provide insight into inter-individual differences in muscle function and could be used to personalise musculoskeletal models. When muscle architecture is measured from ultrasound images, as is frequently done, it is assumed that fascicles are oriented in the image plane and, for some measurements, that the image plane is perpendicular to the aponeurosis at the intersection of fascicle and aponeurosis. This study presents an in vivo validation of these assumptions by comparing ultrasound image plane orientation to three-dimensional reconstructions of muscle fascicles and aponeuroses obtained with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and high-resolution anatomical MRI scans. It was found that muscle fascicles were oriented on average at 5.5±4.1° to the ultrasound image plane. On average, ultrasound yielded similar measurements of fascicle lengths to DTI (difference <3mm), suggesting that the measurements were unbiased. The absolute difference in length between any pair of measurements made with ultrasound and DTI was substantial (10mm or 20% of the mean), indicating that the measurements were imprecise. Pennation angles measured with ultrasound were significantly smaller than those measured with DTI (mean difference 6°). This difference was apparent only at the superficial insertion of the muscle fascicles so it was probably due to pressure on the skin applied by the ultrasound probes. It is concluded that ultrasound measurements of deep pennation angles and fascicle lengths in the medial gastrocnemius are unbiased but have a low precision and that superficial pennation angles are underestimated by approximately 10°. The low precision limits the use of ultrasound to personalise fascicle length in musculoskeletal models.