Imaging at Birmingham runs across the disciplines and right across the range of techniques and across size scales from studies of individual biomolecules, through studies in cells and tissues, and on into patients. It is underpinned by the multidisciplinary “Physical Sciences of Imaging for Biomedical Science’ (PSIBS) life science interface doctoral training centre. Researchers access a range of facilities across campus including equipment in the MDS technology hub, the BUIC MRI centre, the BALM light microscopy facility, the electron microscopy facility and instruments located in individual schools. Topics addressed include (but are not restricted to) key University strengths in cardiovascular science, immunity and infection, cancer, brain imaging and translational medicine.
Mass spectrometry imaging With capabilities in SIMS and MALDI MS imaging, a particular focus is in the improvement and development of matrix assisted laser desorption ionisation (MALDI) as an MS imaging tool for small molecules, enabling imaging of drugs and metabolites in preclinical applications (Bunch, Chemistry; Rainger, Laylor, Medicine).
Image Analysis Computational approaches to simplify complex image data and extract key information is combined with modelling of the image acquisition and the interaction of the light with different biological tissues (Dehghani, Styles, Claridge Comp. Sci; Johansson, Maths; Landini, Dentistry).
Molecular Probes New fluorescent, MRI and multi-technique molecular probes are being developed for imaging blood flow, labelling and tracking cells, and visualising and quantifying receptors to guide therapeutic treatment regimes. (Pikramenou, Hannon, Peacock, Chemistry; Thomas, Nash, Watson, Brain Medicine; Hodges, Biosciences; Claridge, Computer Sciences). This work dovetails with development of instrumentation:
Optical and Fluorescence Imaging Instrument Development Coupled to the research programmes a variety of advances in imaging instrumentation are under development: a TIRF endoscope to allow TIRF to be used in the body; a new molecular imaging system for in vivo fluoresence imaging; optical imaging of the brain; a unique fluorescence lifetime microscope for studying lanthanide complexes in cells. (Dehghani, Styles Comp. Sci; Frampton, Medicine; Rappoport, Biosciences; Bagshaw, Psychology; Pikramenou, Chemistry).
MRI imaging The BUIC centre focuses on the use of MRI and related techniques to investigate the brain (Kourtzi, Humphreys, Miall, Bagshaw, Psychology; Arvanitis, Engineering; Tino, Comp. Sci.). MRI is also used to study childhood brain tumours in a clinical setting (Britton, Chemistry; Arvanitis, Engineering; Peet, Cancer Studies) and is being explored for tracking movement of cells within the body (Adams, Medicine; Pikramenou, Chemistry). centre focuses on the use of MRI and related techniques to investigate the brain (Kourtzi, Humphreys, Miall, Bagshaw, Psychology; Arvanitis, Engineering; Tino, Comp. Sci.). MRI is also used to study childhood brain tumours in a clinical setting (Britton, Chemistry; Arvanitis, Engineering; Peet, Cancer Studies) and is being explored for tracking movement of cells within the body (Adams, Medicine; Pikramenou, Chemistry).
Multispectral Imaging. Non-invasive multispectral imaging is being developed and combined with other techniques to map eye histology and degeneration (Styles, Claridge Comp. Sci; Bunch, Chemistry) and blood flow in limbs (Dehghani, Styles, Comp. Sci.)