BMBS COST Action B21
Physiological modelling of MR image formation
Since its introduction in the mid eighties, the growth in the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in medicine has been spectacular to the present position where it is widely used throughout the USA, Europe and Japan as a primary diagnostic imaging modality.
The main objective of this Action was to establish how software technology based on the development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), simulation techniques and data processing algorithms can offer a flexible and economically feasible environment for the modelling of tissue physiology. This is an innovative idea which could have a dramatic and exciting outcome, opening up the detailed characterisation of disease processes by MR and other imaging methods. The health benefits to the European citizen could be great and the planned outcome of this work would be a European software product, not yet existing in the USA or Japan and would be entirely ground breaking in its scope and application.
More specifically, the Action concentrated on the development of measuring techniques in the main areas of susceptibility-weighted imaging, perfusion, diffusion, MR-spectroscopy and 23Na imaging, being challenged to develop phantoms which are able to mimic the in vivo situation satisfactorily, to refine the experimental results with simulations and to transfer these techniques to animal models and clinical investigations.
With respect to software and simulation developments, the Action developed the MaZda module for 3D texture analysis, which implements a number of functions, like loading bitmap file sequence and 3D files, estimates histogram parameters, is based on mutual information.
Collaboration has been established with the software development team of the Institute for Biodiagnostics, Winnipeg, Canada (developers of a different software named Scopira), promoting data exchange between MaZda and Scopira software and a MaZda interface to execute image processing and classification procedures implemented within Scopira.
Finally, with respect to experimental verification and trials, the Action focused on the organisation of a database of clinical images which can be used by a number of scientists for testing of procedures developed.
Complementary to the European Added Value of COST Action B21, through networking and fostering collaboration between a large number of experts, the impact of the Action consolidated through the publication of a textbook on ”Texture Analysis for Magnetic Resonance Imaging” and naturally through a number of high-impact original research articles (approximately 300).
(Descriptions are provided by the Actions directly via e-COST.)