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Imaging Devices

Advancing the capabilities of medical imaging through state-of-the-art devices, developed to provide real clinical solutions

Research under
this Methodology

UCL is active in many novel medical technologies under development. In x-ray, we host the UK’s leading x-ray phase contrast imaging laboratory, with its own proprietary method which is arguably world-leading in terms of clinical potential. Other examples are in vivo tumour characterisation through x-ray diffraction (a form of “real time” histology), as well as the development of novel x-ray sensors and contrast agents. In nuclear medicine, we develop “Compton cameras”: compact, portable gamma cameras providing 3D imaging without large rings of detectors, as well as SPECT inserts for combined use with MRI and optimized solid-state CZT cameras with a variety of different applications.

In Optics, novel devices and techniques are being developed for diffuse optical imaging and spectroscopy of haemodynamic and metabolic variables in the brain and muscle. One example is a wearable optical tomography system, which will use near-infrared light to image the cortex of the human brain, producing real time videos of brain activity. UCL is world-leading in photoacoustics, through the development of a novel, high-resolution 3D scanner based on an optical ultrasound sensor for small animal and clinical imaging applications, recently extended to a range of miniature photoacoustic imaging probes for micro-endoscopic applications such as prostate or liver cancer imaging and the intravascular assessment of arterial disease.

Other activities include the development of new coils for MRI, new approaches to ultrasonic imaging, and world-leading electrical impedance tomography systems. Total grant funding for this theme amounts to several tens of millions, a significant fraction of which comes from EPSRC.

Studying Under This Theme

Projects listed below are available for applicants to include in their 5 project choices. Successful candidates will meet with both primary supervisors from their selection before being assigned to their allocated research project to ensure that each student gets the best opportunity for their skills and development. To view all available project videos please visit our YouTube channel.

Theme Leader

Prof. Alessandro Olivo
UCL Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering

My group is active in the area of phase-based x-ray imaging methods, based around, but not limited to, the methods I invented: edge-illumination and coded-aperture phase contrast imaging. Related areas of research currently under investigation are in radiation detectors development and characterization, image processing and analysis.

Available Projects:

X-ray elastography: imaging the mechanical properties of tissue using X-rays