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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: PHY3003 Module Title: MEDICAL IMAGING
Module Provider: Physics Short Name: PH3-MI
Level: HE3 Module Co-ordinator: PANI S Dr (Physics)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability

Module Availability:


Semester 2


Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment


Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)










Qualifying Condition(s) 


University general regulations refer.


Module Overview

This course has four inter-related components.


The first will consider from a theoretical perspective, the fundamentals of X-ray image formation both in the planar modality and in the Computed Tomography modality. Elements of image processing and image reconstruction will be addressed.


The second will look at the physical principles and methods of Nuclear Medicine.


The third will look at the principles underlying the application of diagnostic ultrasound in medicine.


Finally, the fourth will consider Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), one of the most important techniques of medical imaging used in hospitals today.





Module Aims

To provide the student with the theoretical skills necessary to understand the physics and also essential aspects of signal processing underpinning the formation of clinical medicine diagnostic imaging systems; to provide an understanding of the elementary aspects of X-ray planar and CT imaging, Nuclear Medicine, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Ultrasound.


Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:


- Understand the key concepts of projection imaging, computed tomography and elementary image processing in the two conjugate domains.


- Describe from first principles the way in which image signals are acquired and manipulated.


- Describe the main elements of the imaging systems for the different modalities and the role of the different components.


- Describe the different mechanisms of image contrast in the different modalities and thus have an understanding of the application of the different modalities, as well as of their advantages and limitations.


Module Content

Introduction to Medical Imaging: modalities and applications; basic elements of image quality assessment.



Mathematics of Imaging: Fourier transform and convolution.



X-ray Projection Imaging Systems: origins of contrast in X-ray imaging; the effect of source and detector on image quality; Nyquist’s sampling theorem; medical X-ray system design and applications.


Introduction to X-ray Computed Tomography: the evolution of transmission X-ray CT imaging systems; image reconstruction from projections; Radon Transform; filtering in the frequency domain and in the space domain; applications.



Introduction to Nuclear Medicine: basic principles; production of isotopes for Nuclear Medicine; the gamma camera; emission tomographies: SPECT and PET.



Introduction to Ultrasound: basic principles; interaction of ultrasound with matter; reflection coefficients; practical ultrasound imaging (time gain compensation, beam steering, Doppler imaging); applications.



Introduction to MRI: spin quantisation and magnetic moment; radiofrquency excitation and free induction decay; Fourier transform relationship; complex representation of the magnetisation vector, T1 , T2, T2* the Bloch equations; gradients and the idea of a “positional spectrum”; frequency and phase encoding; MRI sequences; applications.


Methods of Teaching/Learning

24 hours of lectures/tutorials.


Selected Texts/Journals

Recommended Reading :


i.                 Ed S Webb, The Physics of Medical Imaging, IoPP, 2002.


ii.               W. R. Hendee, E. R. Ritenour, Medical Imaging Physics, New York , Wiley-Liss, 2002. ISBN 0471382264.


iii.              A C Kak and M. Slaney, Principles of Computerized Tomographic Imaging, Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, 2001. ISBN 978-0-898714-94-4


iv.             P. Wells, Ultrasonic imaging of the human body. Rep. Prog. Phys., 62, 1999, pp 671-722.


v.               S S Rajan, MRI – A Conceptual Overview, Springer, 1997. ISBN 0387949119.



The following texts are more advanced and suitable for background reading:


i.                 Paul T Callaghan, Principles of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Microscopy, Clarendon Press, Oxford , 1991, ISBN 0-19-853944-4.


ii.               H Baher, Analog and Digital Signal Processing, Wiley, 1990



Review papers on specific subjects will be provided during lectures.


Last Updated

August 2010.