MRI-1 MRI-compatible ventilator

MR-compatible ventilator system for imaging applications

Product Category: Small Animal Ventilators
Part No.: 12-07000
  • Non-magnetic pneumatic valves (XS, S, & M sized valves available depending on weight of animal)
  • Dependable all-electronic ventilator
  • Wide tidal volume and rate range
  • Mice to Monkeys (up to 10kg with appropriate valve & accessories)
  • Safe with oxygen and anesthesia
  • Direct readout of volume and rate
  • Respiratory rate range:  5 - 200 breaths/min
  • Inspiratory flow range:  20 - 1000ml/min
  • Inspiration/Expiration (I/E ratio) range:  20 - 80%
  • Tidal volume range:  0.1 - 30ml
  • Manual control functions:  HOLD (suspends inspiration), MAN (manual inflation)
  • LCD panel:  4 lines x 20 chars, backlit
  • Internal airpump capacity:  4 lpm
  • Pneumatic valve switching speed (air actuation):  < 75mS
  • Pneumatic valve switching speed (Helium actuation):  < 55mS
  • Pneumatic valve actuation pressure:  3 - 5 bar
  • Pneumatic valve flow orifices:  0.080 in. (2.0mm)
  • Pneumatic valve materials:  PTFE body, non-metallic fasteners, one non-ferrous coil spring
  • Dimensions, main unit:  9W x 5.5H x 9D in. (23 x 14 x 23cm)
  • Dimensions, pneumatic valve (each, of two):  1.0 dia x 1.8 long, in. (47 x 25mm)
  • Port connections, respiratory and pressure functions:   0.125" (3mm) ID Tygon tubing
  • SYNC OUT connector:  BNC
  • Data Port connector:  DB-25S
  • Power requirements:  120/240V (switchable), 100VA

The MRI-1 operates on the flow-time principle where an inspiratory airflow is established and gated into the animal for a known time, thus producing a known volume. This approach provides extraordinary flexibility — a wide range of volumes, breaths-per-minute, and I/E ratios are possible with no hardware changes, and using just three front-panel controls. For small animals, respiratory airflow is provided by an internal airpump. Alternatively, an external pressurized gas source can be attached (oxygen or anesthetic gasses). All ventilation parameters are computed and displayed directly. 

The remote pneumatic valve does the actual airflow switching. By locating this valve close to the animal (including inside the magnet bore if necessary), dead-space and tubing compliance are minimized. A range of valves is now available for animals ranging from mice to pigs. Rodent-size valves are supplied standard, and larger valves can be purchased later as required


Setting up and operating the MRI-1 is easy. Flexible tubing connect the control unit and the valves, providing respiratory airflow and pneumatic control pressure to the valve. Only three controls are required: respiratory rate is set in breaths/minute; the flow rate is set using the front-panel control (and measured internally by a mass flowmeter); and the percent inspiration is set to establish the ratio of inspiration to expiration time (I/E ratio). All respiratory parameters are shown on the front-panel LCD display. The tidal volume and minute ventilation reflecting the current settings is also continuously displayed, and can easily be changed by adjusting the flow rate.


The MRI-1 can also be used in other than magnetic environments. Because of the non-electrical nature of the ventilation valves, this unit is particularly well suited to sensitive electrophysiology recording situations. Besides the standard miniature pneumatic valves, the MRI-1 also accepts any of the solenoid valve assemblies available for the popular SAR-1000 and SAR-830/AP ventilators. Using the MVA-4 multi-valve expander, it is also possible to ventilate several rodent-sized animals simultaneously using just one MRI-1 as the control unit. The external valves operate synchronously, but tidal volumes are independently set by varying the flow rate to each valve assembly.

Installation Requirements

A source of compressed air (approx. 20-50 psi) is required for operating the pneumatic valves. This is attached to the rear panel of the unit, and the pressure is internally switched on or off as required for remote valve operation.  All models feature switchable 120/240VAC operation.