Course: BIOEN 420: Medical Imaging

Credits: 4

Instructor: Ruikang (Ricky) Wang, Chun Yuan

Location and Time: HSE E216 Wednesday and Friday 2:30 – 4:00 pm

UW Catalog Description:  Various medical imaging modalities (x-rays, CT, MRI, ultrasound, PET, SPECT, optical imaging, etc.) and their applications in medicine and biology. Extends basic concepts of signal processing to the two and three dimensions relevant to imaging physics, image reconstruction, image processing, and visualization.

Prerequisites:  Advanced Calculus, Signal and Systems Processing

BIOEN 316 or E E 235; MATH 136, MATH 308, or AMATH 352; CSE 142 or AMATH 301.

Detailed Course Description:  This course introduces imaging methods in medicine and biology. Medical imaging systems to be analyzed include conventional X-ray, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine (PET and SPECT), ultrasound and optical imaging. Each of these modalities will be introduced from basic physical principles to the process of image formation. Also, basic concepts in medical image processing and analysis will be introduced. The course includes three hours of lecture per week and four laboratories that will involve actual medical imaging devices. A course project will also be assigned so that students will not only design new medical imaging systems with the knowledge learn in the classroom, but also explore real world applications with reasonable amount self-learning.

Texts and Supplemental Materials:

  • Introduction to Biomedical Imaging, Andrew Webb – John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2003 (required)

Optional Reference Texts:

  • Lihong Wang & Hsin-I Wu, Biomedical Optics: Principles and Imaging. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN: 978-0-471-74304-0 (2007)
  • Medical Imaging Physics – Fourth Edition, W.R. Hendee, E. R. Ritenour. Wiley-Liss Inc. 2002.
  • Fundamentals of medical imaging, Paul Suetens, Cambridge University Press, 2002.
  • The Physics of Diagnostic Imaging D.J. Dowsett, PA Kenny and R.E. Johnston. Chapman & Hall Medical, 1998.
  • L. V. Wang and H.-i Wu, Biomedical Optics: Principles and Imaging (Wiley, 2007).

Course Structure: The course employs lectures, 5 laboratories, 4 homework, 2 examinations and a term project.

Lab Experiences/participation:

  • CT lab: Students will tour a clinical CT facility.
  • Nuclear medicine lab: Students will visit nuclear medicine clinics and hardware lab for PET and SPECT imaging.
  • Ultrasound lab: Students will witness and experiment ultrasound image acquisition.
  • MRI lab: Students will witness MRI image acquisition and all the noise associated.
  • Optical imaging lab: Students will tour optical imaging lab at BioE and witness optical coherence tomography imaging of human eye


  • Basic image math/ radiation physics/ nuclear medicine/CT problems
  • Ultrasound problems
  • MRI problems
  • Optical imaging problems

Examinations:  There are mid-term and final exams based on lecture concepts. They will be closed book/notes and require a calculator; however one hand-written 8.5×11 inch personal note sheet may be used.

Term Project:  The term project is a team effort, and groups will consist of three or four students. The term project requires the teams to either 1) identify, formulate, and solve a specific problem in medical image processing, or 2) use a nuanced and integrated understanding of biology, physiology, advanced mathematics and engineering to explore new applications of medical imaging to a specific organ centered disease. Groups will be required to write a thorough written report and give a 10-minute summary (with a 10-minute Q & A section where questions may be directed at any member of the team) of their term projects to the class.

If the first project is chosen, the group should review an existing algorithm for medical image processing, demonstrate its use, and suggest possible avenues for improving it. If the second project is chosen, the student should review what information can be obtained from each imaging technique for a specific organ/disease, identify the latest research thrusts within that area, and recommend improvements for imaging applications for a patient with the specified disease.

Project Timeline: There are 5 parts of the project that are expected to be submitted by certain due dates

  • Team Formation: Students may choose their groups.
  • Project Topic: This will be a broad and general topic that your team would like to explore.
  • Project Presentation: Your team will have approximately 10 minutes to discuss your project including background, current methods, your improvement (project idea), and advantages and disadvantages of your method. This will then be followed by a 10 min question and answer session. Each team member is expected to ask and answer questions! (45% of project grade)
  • Project Report: Your team will try to convince us that your idea has merit. We expect a thorough background of the topic of interest, a discussion of the current methods used along any limitations, what your improvement is and why you think it’s an improvement, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of your team’s idea. There is no minimum requirement or limitation on the report. We expect quality writing as well as an exceptional explanation and idea. (45% of grade)

Computer Resources: The BIOE student laboratory has PC workstations with relevant image processing and statistical software such as Matlab, Mathcad, Splus, SAS etc. The students use the computers to develop and validate their algorithms.

Lecture 1 – Introduction  CY/RW  Sept 24
Lecture 2– X-ray/radiation   CY Sept 26
Lecture 3 – x-ray CY Oct 1
Lecture 4– CT CY Oct 3
Lecture 5– Nuclear medicine CY Oct 8
CT lab CY Oct 9
Lecture 6– PET/SPECT CY Oct 10
Nuclear Medicine lab Oct 14
Lecture 7– Optical imaging RW Oct 15
Lecture 8– optical imaging RW Oct 17
Lecture 9– optical imaging RW Oct 22
Optical imaging lab   RW Oct 22
Lecture 10 – image quality/ROC CY Oct 24
Lecture 11 – mid-term  Oct 29
Lecture 12– US RW Oct 31
Lecture 13 – US RW Nov 5
Lecture 14 US  RW Nov 7
US lab RW Nov 7
Lecture 15– mri CY Nov 12
Lecture 16– mri
CY Nov 14
Lecture 17– clinical application of imaging JM Nov 19
Lecture 18 – mri CY Nov 21
MRI lab CY Nov 25
Lecture 19 – MRI  CY Nov 26
Project 1 Both Dec 3
Project 2 Both Dec 5
Final Exam Dec 9


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