Skip to content

Very Intimate Imaging

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Author: Dr Claude J. Bajada

Mater Dei Hospital is a stone’s throw away from the University of Malta. In a new and exciting collaboration between the two institutions, the university invested in a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner for brain research, tumour detection, and many other crucial studies. 

Dr Ingrid Vella, dr In. Andrew Sammut and Dr Claude J. Bajada
Researchers Dr Ingrid Vella, Dr Ing. Andrew Sammut, and Dr Claude J. Bajada

An MRI machine is a very large, very strange digital camera. Instead of detecting light, MRI scanners use powerful electromagnetic fields (some about 45,000 times the strength of the Earth’s field) to give energy to the body’s water. It is that energy that is detected and converted into a digital image.

The complex process of obtaining an image is what makes MRI so useful. There are many ways to tweak the input and intermediary steps before obtaining this image, allowing scientists and doctors to obtain very detailed images of a person’s insides and to visualise things that sound like science fiction. An MRI scanner can identify tumours in the liver, lungs, or breast. But it can also be used to reconstruct the connections in the brain or to visualise the fluctuations of neural activity.

MRI image
This is what you can get when you look at a brain using an MRI scanner. Image by Dr Claude J. Bajada

UM scientists, as part of a cross-faculty and centre working group, are devising novel approaches to analysing MRI data. They are asking questions that can only be answered by looking deep inside the human body. The joint project between the hospital and the university will not only contribute to the diagnosis of diseases it will also enable cutting-edge science and ultimately improve Malta’s medical imaging abilities for all.  

The device will be housed at the hospital’s Medical Imaging Department. The scanner acquisition is funded through the Transdisciplinary Research and Knowledge Exchange (TRAKE) Complex, co-financed through the European Regional Development Fund 2014 – 2020 (ERDF.01.0124). Claude J. Bajada is a member of the University of Malta MRI Working Group.

More to explorer

Maltese Innovation Promises New Era in Accessing Space

A team of researchers and engineers from the University of Malta’s Astrionics Research Group (ASTREA) are developing their own satellite and ground station for Malta to take its place in the night sky above.

Cutting EDGE Research: the Genomes of Maltese Plants

Conservation is a 21st century hot topic. It is a top priority worldwide to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources. But how can we even begin to conserve our natural environment if we don’t understand it? Ines Ventura investigates.

Impressions on Branding

Our impression of a brand shapes our experience of the product or service involved. Five students from the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Digital Arts looked into this, involving their own interests in the medium.

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.