National Heart & Lung Institute (NHLI)

Physics Research

Professor David Firmin, Principal Investigator

Professor Firmin’s research in the CMR unit concentrates on the development of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance techniques with improved accuracy, reproducibility and speed. The studies include a large range of methods including the measurement of blood flow and myocardial perfusion, myocardial tissue characterisation and the measurement of both global and regional cardiac function. Other important areas of study include the development of methods for assessing and characterising the vessel wall and its function.  More recently a number of the research group have been focussing on Diffusion Tensor MRI to characterise the myocardial tissue structure and also dynamics throughout the cardiac cycle.  The figure below shows three slices of DTI data with glypths representing the principal Eigen vector direction that corresponds to the myocarial fibre direction.

Physics research


The studies are guided by clinical requirements and the biggest challenge is the problem of motion which comes in various forms. The research is strongly linked with other basic science groups within Imperial College where collaborative studies have already provided considerable measurement enhancement and promised much more in the future.

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