Upright Open MRI

The Upright Open MRI is a UBC shared research platform funded in part by the Faculty of Medicine, the Centre for Aging SMART (Solutions for Mobility, Activity, Rehabilitation and Technology) at Vancouver Coastal Health, and the Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation.

The Upright Open MRI (ASG Superconductors) is an important advancement from traditional MRIs as it allows bones, joints and cartilage to be imaged during weight bearing—information that is critical to better understand joint function.

For further information on booking the Upright Open MRI for your research, please visit their site uprightopenmri.ubc.ca

Please note, clinical requests to use the scanner cannot be accommodated.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Stand-up, walk-in design allows people to be scanned in a variety of positions including standing, sitting, squatting, and lying down
  • Allows scans through a range of motion
  • Allows scans during weight bearing activities (for example, standing and squatting)
  • Allows scans in a position relevant to normal joint function. This is particularly important for imaging joints that have been injured or damaged by disease. For example, scans in a standing position for knee osteoarthritis could offer new insights into the underlying pathology.

The Upright Open MRI scanner can also be used to obtain novel views of:

Local, national, or international Researchers from:

  • Academic institutions
  • Industry
  • Government

The primary use of the Upright Open MRI is for health research, however researchers in other fields are welcome to submit a project proposal through uprightopenmri.ubc.ca/our-services/request-services

No. We are doing important preliminary research that will contribute to the development of protocols to inform clinical decision making for the potential future use of the Upright Open MRI scanner.

This means that for now, the Upright Open MRI is reserved for researchers and clinicians who are working to find new ways to image the human body in order to solve some of the world's most pressing healthcare challenges. Our results will have a profound impact on Canadian healthcare practices and indeed, the practices around the world.

We gratefully acknowledge the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for providing us the funding for the purchase of this innovative piece of equipment and the opportunity to carry out leading edge work that cannot be done anywhere else.


Staff at the Centre for Aging SMART would be happy to address any questions you may have and to work with you to coordinate your project. Please contact us for a swift response. Also note that we are a research centre, not a clinic. If you have questions or concerns about a medical condition, please consult with your physician.