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Guide to BME: Medical Imaging

Guides to BME List

Medical imaging allows for the creation of images of the human body in a non-invasive way. Using known physical phenomena, the body’s response can be measured and an image created. Most forms of imaging are anatomical such as x-ray, computed tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance (MR). The field of medical imaging has been expanding in recent years to also include functional imaging, which provides information on how the body is functioning. These modes include functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET).

Medical imaging combines the areas of engineering, physics, and computers. Signal processing is a large part of medical imaging since advances in signal processing often allow for an expansion of imaging capabilities with the same hardware.

You should take ECE 330 (Signals and Systems) as early as possible. This is a difficult class, but it provides you with the fundamentals for the theories and signal processing that repeatedly occur within medical imaging. This course discusses one-dimensional signals and systems while medical imaging uses two or more dimensional systems, a simple extension once you have grasped the fundamentals. This course is offered every semester, and different professors usually teach it.

BME 530 (Medical Imaging Systems) provides an overview of the different hardware and signal processing associated with many different imaging modalities. You should take this course because not only does it satisfy your advanced BME area elective, but it offers you insight into the different modalities The course first introduces you to two-dimensional signal processing, the works through several different modalities such as x-ray, CT, and MR. Other modalities may be covered. This course has traditionally been offered in the spring taught by Prof. Wally Block.

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