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Medical Imaging

Code: EBE0193     Acronym: IM

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Biomedical Engineering

Instance: 2016/2017 - 2S Ícone do Moodle

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Department of Engineering Physics
Course/CS Responsible: Master in Bioengineering

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
MEB 31 Syllabus 1 - 6 56 162
MIB 7 Syllabus 4 - 6 56 162

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
António José dos Santos Silva

Teaching - Hours

Recitations: 3,00
Laboratory Practice: 1,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Recitations Totals 1 3,00
António José dos Santos Silva 1,00
Isabel Maria Amorim Pereira Ramos 2,00
Laboratory Practice Totals 2 2,00
António José dos Santos Silva 2,00

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students


The objective of this curricular unit is the acquisition of basic knowledge in Physics relevant for the activities involved in the operation, maintenance or investigation with the equipment used in Medical Imaging. This knowledge includes basic Physics principles and the basic aspects of the engineering of the imaging equipments.

Learning outcomes and competences

By the end of the curricular unit, proficiency in the following areas must be attained:
Basic principles in radiation Physics. Describe the structure of matter and its relation with radiation; describe the different types of radiation and their propagation; list the physics quantities and their units necessary to describe radiation and its propagation; describe the production and detection of radiation; describe the interaction of radiation with matter, particularly its use in medical imaging (x- and gamma-rays); explain the use of radiation in Medical Imaging; solve simple exercises in these subjects.
Basic concepts in medical imaging equipment. Enumerate the different imaging modalities; relate the modalities with the underlying physics mechanisms; identify the components and construct general block diagrams of the corresponding medical equipment; describe for each modality the acquisition of an image.  
Basic experimental Physics. Plan and perform didactic experiments: apply the Physics principles; define goals and procedures; carry out the experiments and collect the data; analyze the results; report the conclusions. 
Calculus and data analysis. Use spreadsheets or small programs to analyze data from experiments and to solve problems in radiation Physics. Interpret and explain the information in technical specifications of equipment. Extract information, from several data sources, regarding practical aspects of radiation physics: nuclide charts, decay diagrams, dose charts, attenuation graphs, etc.  
Personal development. Work efficiently in a group; communicate with efficiency, written and orally. Develop:  autonomous work; self- and peer evaluation skills; critical thinking and reasoning.

Working method


Pre-requirements (prior knowledge) and co-requirements (common knowledge)

Advisable: Fundamentals of Physics (FFIS) and Mathematics (MAT).


1-Fundamentals of radiation Physics: structure of matter and radiation; electromagnetic radiation; production of radiation; interaction of radiation with matter; radiation detection.
2-X-Rays: production, attenuation and detection of x-rays. Planar radiography and Computed Tomography (CT).
3-Nuclear Medicine: properties of nuclei, decays and radioactivity; radionuclid production. Scintigraphy and Computed Emission Tomography systems - SPECT and PET.
4-Radiation protection and dosimetry. Biological effects of radiation.
5-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR): physics principles. NMR imaging.
6-Ultrasound: ultrasound physics and sound propagation. Ultrasound systems and scanning methods.

Mandatory literature

Jerrold T. Bushberg [et al.]; The essential physics of medical imaging. ISBN: 978-0-683-30118-2

Complementary Bibliography

P. P. Dendy, B. Heaton ; colab. O. W. E. Morrish...[et al.]; Physics for diagnostic radiology. ISBN: 978-1-4200-8315-6
Nadine Barrie Smith, Andrew Webb; Introduction to medical imaging. ISBN: 978-0-521-19065-7
Jerry L. Prince, Jonathan M. Links; Medical imaging signals and systems. ISBN: 0-13-065353-5

Teaching methods and learning activities

- Lectures (“aulas teórico-práticas”-TP) 2x1,5h/week. Lectures may consist of several activities: presentation and discussion of concepts; listing of the objectives for the subject under study and the corresponding reading assignments and homework; explanation of the working principles of imaging equipment; simulations and experiments; problem solving; continuous evaluation activities such as short tests.
- Laboratory classes (“práticas laboratoriais”-PL) 1x1h/week: simple laboratory experiments with x-rays (using a didactic x-ray apparatus) and ultrasounds.


Physical sciences > Physics > Applied physics > Medical physics

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation with final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Exame 80,00
Trabalho laboratorial 20,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Estudo autónomo 106,00
Frequência das aulas 56,00
Total: 162,00

Eligibility for exams

In order to achieve a successful continuous evaluation (CE) it is necessary to:
- Comply with the minimum attendance to each class type (75%);
- Accomplish at least 80% of all the proposed activities.

Calculation formula of final grade

The final mark (FM) is computed using
FM = 0,20 CE + 0,80 FE
- CE the continuous evaluation mark;
- FE the final exam mark, which must not be less than 10 (in 20).

Examinations or Special Assignments

Not planned.

Internship work/project

Not planned.

Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)

By exam, under the appliable grading rules.

Classification improvement

By exam, under the appliable grading rules.

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