Biomedical NMR and Molecular Imaging

Academic year
Subject Area
Biomedical Sciences
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
2nd Cycle Studies - Mestrado

Recommended Prerequisites

The whole 1st cycle, in particular  Biochemistry I, Biochemistry II, Biomolecular Spectroscopy, Introduction to Structural Biochemistry and Metals in Medicine and in the Environment.

Teaching Methods

-Theoretical: covers the main program topics using suitable audio-visual methods, with student participation

-Theoretical-practical: analysis of 4 recent research papers with specific evaluation in the final exam.

-Practical:  contact with the scientific methods of molecular imaging, through visits to the ICNAS, with practical MRI/MRS work and demonstrations of the functioning of SPECT and PET imaging systems, and radiolabeling.

-Seminar: preparing a seminar work based on the practical sessions, presented in written forrn and evaluated.

Learning Outcomes

The main goal of this CU is to present to the students at adeeper level the concepts of NMR spectroscopy useful in Biomedicine, as well as of MRI. We will present and discuss the main applications of these techniques in biomedical research at the cell, organ, animal and human levels, as well as in the clinical practice. We will also introduce at a very basic level other imaging techniques which are important in medical diagnostics, such as X ray tomography, ultrasounds and Nuclear medicine techniques, such as PET and SPECT, or others still in development, such as optical imaging (including biolominescent imaging, BLI). These concepts will allow the presentation and discussion of the recent developments in multimodal molecular imaging.

Work Placement(s)



Introduction. Interaction of radiation with matter: radio waves to gamma rays. Attenuation. Absorption.  In vivo biomedical NMR and its applications. Metabolomics. Medical Imaging. Modalities and characteristics. Properties of images. MRI. Physical and physiological basis. Diffusion, perfusion and  angiography.  Applications. Functional MRI. Nuclear Imaging. Production of radiopharmaceuticals. Emission Tomography - PET/SPECT. Applications in biomedical and clinical research. Optical imaging. Luminescence. Effects  in biological tissues. Use of cells and transgenic animals. Preclinical examples.  Multimodal imaging.

Molecular Imaging. Contrast agents for MRI. Optimizations of their properties. Cell labeling and tracking in vivo.  Teragnostics. CEST agents. Hyperpolarization. Metabolic imaging. Conclusions and perspectives.

Assessment Methods

Synthesis work: 40.0%
Exam: 60.0%


1. N. Beckman (1995) Carbon-13 NMR Spectroscopy of Biological Systems, Academic Press, N.Y.

2. J.D. de Certaines, W.M.M.J. Bovée, F. Podo (1992) Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in Biology and Medicine, Pergamon Press, Oxford

3. R. J. Gillies (1994) NMR in Physiology and Biomedicine, Academic Press, N.Y.

4. E.B. Cady (1990) Clinical Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Plenum Press, N.Y.

5. Rinck, P.A. (2003) Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. The basic Textbook of the European Magnetic Resonante Forum. ABW Wissenshaftsverlag, Leiben, Austria.

6. M. A. Brown and R.C. Semelka (2003) MRI, basic principles and applications, Wiley-Liss,Hoboken, N.J.

7. Bushberg, J.T., Seibert, J.A., Leidholdt, E.M., Boone, J.M. (2002) The Essential Physics of Medical Imaging. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. Philadelphia, USA.

8. Dendy, P.P., Heaton, B. (1987) Physics for Radiologists. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford. UK.