AP3232 Medical imaging signals and systems

Topics: Physical principles of medical imaging using conventional X-ray, CT, ultrasound, MRI, SPECT and PET

The course Medical Imaging Signals and Systems covers the principles of advanced medical imaging modalities. Particularly, students will study the physics, acquisition techniques and signal processing underlying conventional X-ray, Computerized Tomography (CT), Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Ultrasound (US) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). 

Course Content

  • Introductory lecture with the history of medical imaging and its importance for modern medicine and biomedical research.
  • Conventional X-ray, CT, SPECT and PET imaging (33% of content):
    • Basic principles of planar X-ray imaging and scintigraphy (short);
    • Advanced methods for image acquisition using CT, SPECT and PET;
    • Mathematical techniques for image reconstruction, including filtered backprojection and iterative approaches;
    • Issues of image quality, especially related to resolution, signal to noise ratio, quantitative and dynamic imaging.


  • MR imaging (33% of content):
    • Fundamentals of MRI: spin, Larmor frequency, T1, T2, T2* contrast (short);
    • Spatial encoding: K-space;
    • Image Quality: PSF, signal strength and noise level;
    • Advanced MRI techniques such as diffusion, perfusion and flow imaging.


  • Ultrasound imaging (33% of content):
    • Physical and mathematical principles of ultrasound imaging, including probe design and advanced US imaging techniques such as harmonic imaging and non-linear reconstruction techniques for imaging tissue properties. 

The course will end with a mini-symposium on specialized imaging techniques. Therefore, recently developed medical imaging methods will be studied, going beyond the theory of the lectures. Students working in pairs will write a short essay on a selected technique and present it to the group.


M.C. Goorden

Last modified: 2023-11-03


Credits: 6 EC
Period: 4/4/0/0