Course detail

Imaging Systems with Ionizeing Radiation

FEKT-MPA-ZIZAcad. year: 2023/2024

This course is focused to using of ionizing radiation in medical imaging. First part of the course is dedicated to basics of atomic physics which are necessary for understanding of physical principles of X-ray and gamma rays. In the next part we focus to projection X-ray systems in different applications (projection skiagraphy, fluoroscopy, mammography, bone densitometry and dental X-rays). All construction aspects of X-rays systems are discussed - X-ray tube, principles of detection (film material, computing radiography, flat panels). The course continues with using of X-ray in computed tomography (CT) - definition of Radon's transform as basic concept of image reconstruction, constructional aspects of CT systems. Third part of this course is focused to medical imaging in nuclear medicine - planar scintigraphy, single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET). The last part deals with hybrid imaging systems which combines two imaging modalities into single system. Image quality and achievable parameters are discussed for all imaging systems.  

Language of instruction


Number of ECTS credits


Mode of study

Not applicable.

Offered to foreign students

Of all faculties

Entry knowledge

Basic knowledge of mathematics, physics, and signal and image processing theory at the undergraduate level is required.  

Rules for evaluation and completion of the course

Laboratory assignments and output of the computer labs are assessed during the semester. The course concludes with an examination combining written and oral parts.

Further information is contained in an updated course Statement which is issued before the start of the semester by the course supervisor.  


The aim of this course is to extend the knowledge from Bachelor's degree in medical physics and medical imaging systems. This course is focused to using of ionizing radiation in medical imaging - step by step we discuss X-ray projection systems, computed tomography systems (CT) and imaging in nuclear medicine.  

Study aids

Study materials are available in e-learning.

Prerequisites and corequisites

Not applicable.

Basic literature

JERROLD T. BUSHBERG . Essential physics of medical imaging. 3. ed., Internat. ed. S.l.: Lippincott Williams And W, 2011. ISBN 9781451118100. (CS)
BRONZINO, Joseph D. The biomedical engineering handbook. Medical Devices and Systems. 3rd ed. Boca Raton: CRC/Taylor & Francis, 2006. ISBN 0849321220. (CS)
CHERRY, Simon R, James A SORENSON a Michael E PHELPS. Physics in nuclear medicine. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier/Saunders, c2012. ISBN 978-1-4160-5198-5. (CS)
RUSSO, Paolo, [2017]. Handbook of X-ray imaging: physics and technology. Boca Raton. ISBN 14-987-4152-5. (CS)
Mettler, A.F., Guiberteau M. J.: Essentials of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, 7th Edition, Elsevier, 2018 (EN)
Buzug T.M.: Computed Tomography: From Photon Statistics to Modern Cone-bean CT, Springer, 2010 (EN)
Gilmore D., Waterstram-Rich, K.: Nuclear Medicine and PET/CT: Technology and Techniques, 8th Edition, Mosby, 2016 (EN)

Recommended reading

Not applicable.


Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme MPC-BIO Master's, 2. year of study, winter semester, compulsory
  • Programme MPAD-BIO Master's, 2. year of study, winter semester, compulsory

Type of course unit



26 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


1. History of Medical Imaging - first look to different imaging modalities, basic physical principles related to development of imaging systems, quantitative and qualitative parameters of medical imaging, image quality assessment.
2. Physics of ionizing ray - electromagnetic ray, atom and its models, electron transitions, characteristic radiation and Auger electron emission, nuclear stability, radioactivity, interactions of radiation with matter (all kinds), attenuation of radiation.
3. X-Ray Systems - geometric acquisition, summated imaging, x-ray tube - basic principle, characteristic radiation, Bremsstrahlung, types of x-ray tubes, materials for anodes, X-Ray generators, filtration and collimation of the radiation, primary collimator.
4. X-Ray Systems - scattered radiation, Bucky grid, anti-scatter grid, detection of X-Ray - photographic film, computed digital radiography (memory foils), flat panels with direct and indirect detection of radiation, specifications for fluoroscopy - image intensifier, different acquisition parameters.
5. X-Ray Systems - nontypical applications - fluoroscopy, using of contrast agents, mammography, dental X-Ray, bone densitometry, dual energy acquisition, 3D digital tomosynthesis, image quality of X-Ray Systems.
6. CT systems - tomographic systems, basic principles - parallel projections, image reconstruction, algebraic reconstruction, simple back projection, filtered back projection, iterative reconstructions, fan beam projections, helical data interpolation, multi-layer detectors interpolations, definition of CT number.
7. CT systems - historical overview of CT systems and generations - first, second, third, slip ring technology, fourth and fifth generation, helical systems, sub-secund systems, multi-layer systems. X-Ray tubes for CT systems - differences to standard X-Ray tubes.
8. CT systems - detection of radiation in CT - gas detectors, scintillators, technologies for production of multi-layer detectors. Acquisition parameters - anode voltage, anode current, helical pitch, binning. Technical perspective of CT system components - gantry, patient table and others. Image quality of CT systems.
9. Nuclear Medicine Imaging - radionuclides as a source of ionizing radiation, gamma radiation, summation imaging - planar scintigraphy, Anger's camera,  detection by semiconductors - Cadmium-Zinc-Telluride (CZT) detector.
10. Nuclear Medicine Imaging - tomographic systems - single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET) - definitions, projections, set of projections, image reconstructions, coincidence, time-of-flight detection and reconstructions, typical radiopharmaceuticals (technetium 99m, FDG, etc.).
11. Hybrid Medical Imaging - construction, combination of selected imaging modalities - advantages, disadvantages, correction of attenuation, SPECT-CT, PET-CT, PET-MRI, unusual combinations for preclinical research.
12. Radiation biology - dose, negative effects of ionizing radiation to tissue, limitations of radiation dose, simulations of radiation protection.

Exercise in computer lab

13 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer


Set of tasks for PC lab:
  1. Simulation of attenuation of x-ray with various energies, simulation of Compton scattering.
  2. Simulation of X-ray spectra - effect of various anode voltage, anode current and material filtration.
  3. Image reconstruction for computed tomography - sinogram, simple back projection, filtered back projection.
  4. Advanced method for image reconstruction - iterative approaches, SIRT, SART, etc.
  5. Principles of PET imaging - positron annihilation, two photons propagation and detection, sinogram estimation.  

Laboratory exercise

13 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer


Set of following laboratory exercises: 
  1. Basics of X-ray imaging - image geometry, spatial resolution.
  2. Spectrum of X-ray tube - combination of characteristic radiation and bremsstrahlung.
  3. Computed tomography - acquisition of data, representation by sinogram, image reconstruction.
  4. Image detector properties - measuring of dark current noise characteristic, linearization of photons to image level conversion. 
  5. Basic measurement with radioactive tracers - alpha, beta, gamma radioactivity, inverse square law.