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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X001091/1
Title: Deep compressive quantitative MRI imaging
Principal Investigator: Golbabaee, Dr M
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
GE Healthcare UCL University of Pisa
University of Zurich
Department: Engineering Mathematics and Technology
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: New Investigator Award
Starts: 01 February 2023 Ends: 31 January 2025 Value (£): 268,932
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Artificial Intelligence Medical Imaging
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
18 May 2022 Healthcare Technologies Investigator Led Panel May 2022 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has transformed the way we look through the human body by offering exquisite soft-tissue contrast in high-resolution images, noninvasively. This has made MRI the gold-standard imaging technique for diagnosis and monitoring of many diseases. However, conventional MRI scans do not produce "quantitative" measurements, i.e. standardised measures, and therefore it is difficult to compare MRI images acquired at different hospitals, or at different points in time, limiting the potential of this imaging technology for advanced diagnostic and monitoring precision.

Quantitative MRI (qMRI) aims to overcome this problem by yielding reproducible measurements that quantify tissue bio-properties, independent of the scanner and scanning times. This could transform the existing scanners from picture-taking machines to scientific measuring instruments, enabling objective comparisons across clinical sites, individuals and different time-points. But unfortunately qMRIs have excessively long acquisition times which currently create a major obstacle for their wide adoption in clinical routines.

Therefore, the main goal of this project is to develop new computational methodologies based on compressed sampling and machine learning that will substantially reduce the scan times of qMRI. Compressed sampling techniques enable efficient acquisition of signals and images from tightly constrained sensor/imaging systems. They have been recently applied to address the issue of scan time in qMRI, but these techniques require much better computational methods for removing image compression artefacts at higher acceleration (compression) rates needed for this application. The project aims to address this gap through advanced machine learning-based models and appropriately chosen datasets to train them.

The research has two streams of beneficiaries:

(i) A large community of UK and international clinical academics that use qMRI techniques for their research on precision imaging and evaluation of diseases such as cancer, cardiac or neurodegenerative disorders, each with significant socioeconomic impact. The outcomes of this project would allow these studies to become more available and more economically feasible.

(ii) A large community of UK and international non-clinical academics/professionals who work on compressed sampling inverse problem techniques, motivated by variety of other sensing/imaging applications that could benefit in their studies from methodologies developed by this project.

A number of activities have been carefully designed to effectively engage with beneficiaries of this research. These activities include co-production and validation of knowledge with clinical academics and healthcare industry as our project partners, publishing of the results in leading academic journals/conferences, a project website to publicize up-to-date project advances and share open-source software and demonstrators, and a workshop with field specialists and national academic and non-academic stakeholders in medical technologies.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bris.ac.uk