The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETHZ) ranks among the top universities in the world with popular rankings placing ETHZ as the best university in Switzerland and on the main European continent. Twentyone Nobel Laureates are associated with ETHZ. The Institute for Biomedical Engineering (IBE) has been the first joint institute of the University and ETHZ and was founded in 1971 as one of the pioneering institutions in Europe fully dedicated to Biomedical Engineering and Medical Imaging sciences. The IBE is structured into four divisions, which cover a wide range of activities in collaboration with clinical and biological partner institutions. Besides its own research, the Institute is in charge of three joint laboratories of the University and ETHZ among which the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) User Lab has perceived worldwide recognition. The MRI activities at IBE
feature the full range of whole body MRI systems from 1.5 Tesla to 7 Tesla and some of the most recent key technologies in MRI originate from the lab.
Contributions to the project
The IBE has been at the forefront of developing and establishing new MRI imaging technology. Among the recent developments the advent of parallel detection in MRI has marked a true technological breakthrough and the technique is now found on almost every clinical MRI system in the world. Besides the development of generic MRI methods considerable efforts have been invested in driving particular applications to the next level. For example, dedicated pulse sequences permit high-resolution tractography of brain fibres exploiting the anisotropy of water self-diffusion. At a larger scale, multi-directional velocity encoding allows reconstruction of blood and CSF flow patterns in the brain, which is of particular relevance to the present project proposal. Moreover, considerable advances in detecting submillimeter tissue displacements in the brain have been achieved and demonstrated in
conjunction with CFD modelling work of the brain.
In the project, the IBE will be in charge of developing and establishing MRI pulse sequences for probing anatomy, microstructure and functional characteristics of the brain. IBE together with KCL and UOS will take responsibility of pulse sequence implementation and optimisation at the academic and clinical partner institutions operating Philips clinical MRI equipment.