Photo: DTU

Students ensure greater accuracy of scanning images

Thursday 04 Jul 19


Tim Dyrby
Associate Professor
+45 40 79 02 82

Anouk Marsman
Research Fellow
+45 38 62 66 78
Thanks to two student projects, the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) research unit at Hvidovre Hospital will be able to receive images of the liver and brain tissue in a much higher resolution in the future.

In recent months, two students from DTU Electrical Engineering with high-frequency electronics as their area of specialization have been working on separate projects that will ultimately contribute to making MRI scans more precise.

This is done in close collaboration with the research unit Danish Research Center for Magnetic Resonance (DRCMR) at Hvidovre Hospital who has Denmark’s most powerful human MRI scanner—a 7 tesla MRI scanner, used solely for research.

Alajdin Rustemi and Marios Masouridis have worked on the correlation between magnetic density and frequencies as a new method of improving the MRI scanner’s imaging. Put simply, they have developed sensors that can tune into the right frequency just like a radio in order to pick up the desired radio channel. The sensors record the information they receive on this frequency—300 MHz for the MRI scanner in question—and subsequently generate images of the scanned area.

Research in diabetes
Alajdin Rustemi has developed a new so-called coil for liver scans. It is a kind of ‘frame’, which is placed over the body prior to the scan. The liver is interesting to look at in connection with several diseases, especially diabetes, where the liver’s conversion of glucose is essential for understanding the disease. The new coil is a split coil that makes it possible to see the liver from two sides, in contrast to the current coils which can only create images of the liver from one side.

“My method also ensures that the image resolution is greatly improved—at least three times better than what is currently possible,” says Alajdin Rustemi who has completed the project in the second semester of his master's programme.

Alajdin Rustemi has made and designed the coil at DTU and then tested it on the DRMCR’s MRI scanner at Hvidovre Hospital. Here, they are extremely pleased with the collaboration.

“Much of the equipment we use in our scanner must be developed and manufactured to our specific purposes. In that context, it is great to collaborate with students from DTU who have insight into the very narrow field of MRI scans,” says Anouk Marsman, Research Fellow at DRCMR.

"It’s great that we as students are given access to work with Denmark’s most powerful MRI scanner and to develop sensors that could promote future research."
Marios Masouridis, DTU student

Increased knowledge about the brain
Magnetic density and frequencies are also the starting point for Marios Masouridis’ project which aims to develop better sensors for use in a very different type of scans. Marios Masouridis has developed a very small coil of 5 mm in diameter to be used when scanning small animal tissue samples.

The coil must contain small samples of brain tissue from, e.g., mice and will be used by the researchers to develop better biophysical models of cells and nerve pathways in the brain. The smaller the coil, the more substantial the improvement of the image, which makes size a very important factor.

“One of the biggest challenges has been to ensure mechanical stability to prevent the small coil from moving during scanning and thus destroying the images. Marios Masouridis has solved this issue in the best possible way and we now have a very small coil which can be used to increase our knowledge of the brain,” says Associate Professor Tim Dyrby, DRCMR.

Both Alajdin Rustemi and Marios Masouridis agree that it has been exciting to work with projects that could ultimately be applied for and contribute to better diagnosing and, in the long term, improving the health of diabetes patients, for example.

“It’s great that we as students are given access to work with Denmark’s most powerful MRI scanner and to develop sensors that could promote future research,” says Marios Masouridis, who is on the third semester of his master's programme.

It is not unlikely that the two students will continue working with health technology solutions in the remaining part of their programmes.

Learn more

Supervisor: Associate Professor Vitaliy Zhurbenko

The two students have carried out their project in close collaboration with HYPERMAG, Center for Hyperpolarization in Magnetic Resonance at DTU.

The Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance (DRCMR) is one of the leading scientific centres in Europe within biomedical MR. The Center is located at Hvidovre Hospital.

Participants from DRCMR:

  • Tim Dyrby
  • Anouk Marsman
  • Vincent Boer
  • Esben Thade Petersen