Introduction to Biological Imaging

Cover of Nature Biomedical Engineering
Cover of Nature Biomedical Engineering
Figure: Nature


Teaching Assistant: Ivan Olefir

About the course

Cover of Science
Cover of Science
Figure: Science

Do you want to break into a field which uses engineering to help medical doctors and biologists in their daily life? Are you fascinated by a field which can prepare you for working at the interface of engineering, biology and medicine? Are you interested in bringing solutions to medicine and help patients by complementing biology discovery with engineering problem solving ability? Then this course is for you. Biomedical engineers and imaging experts are shaping the world of biomedicine and see high demand for their expertise both in academia and in the industry in Europe, North America and Southeast Asia. Importantly, imaging scientists develop an in-depth understanding of the interplay between technology and the Life Sciences, serving as a leverage point to integrate engineering into biological and medicine pipelines in areas of sensing and information processing in general.

Among other topics, in this course you will learn about:

1. How are images formed in different imaging modalities?

2. What are the physical properties and computational principles of image formation?

3. What are the differences between X-ray CT and Magnetic Resonance Imaging?

4. How does Ultrasound and Nuclear Imaging methods work? What is optoacoustics?

5. What is optical microscopy and how does it help to propel biology into impacting medicine?

6. What is forward modelling and inversion?

7. How imaging contributes to advanced prognosis, diagnosis and theranostics?

Handheld MSOT in use
Handheld MSOT in use
Photo: CBI


Whenever possible, the course outlines the complementation of Modern Engineering and Biology as diverse but highly synergistic scientific cultures that share a common future. We further explain how Biomedical Engineers will play a central role into developing solutions for Healthcare and the Life Sciences, supporting top innovation activities.



Schedule - Winter Semester 2019-2020

Lectures (Wednesdays, 16:30 - 18:00)

  • Oct 16th: Introduction (Olefir)
  • Oct 23rd: X-ray and Computed Tomography (Jüstel)
  • Oct 30th: Classification of biomedical Imaging methods (Ntziachristos)
  • Nov 6th: Forward problem – physics (Jüstel)
  • Nov 13th: Optical Microscopy (Ntziachristos)
  • Nov 20th: Forward problem – numerical (Olefir, Jüstel)
  • Nov 27th: Optical & Optoacoustic Imaging (Ntziachristos)
  • Dec 4th: Nuclear Imaging (Ntziachristos)
  • Dec 11th: MRI 1 (Ntziachristos) 
  • Dec 18th: Inverse problems in Imaging (Olefir, Jüstel)
  • Holiday
  • Jan 8th: MRI 2 (Karampinos)
  • Jan 15th: Ultrasound Imaging (Razansky)
  • Jan 22nd: Artificial Intelligence and Imaging (Menze) 
  • Jan 29th: Case study and review

Practical Exercises (Wednesdays, 18.00-19.30)

  • Oct 23th: Matlab for Imaging (Olefir)
  • Nov 13th: CT, Radon Transform (Olefir)
  • Nov 27th: Forward Problems (Olefir)
  • Jan 15th: MRI (Bloch equations) (Karampinos)
  • Jan 22nd: Inverse Problems (Olefir)

Course materials


Additional Reading