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SH2310 Radiation Detectors and Medical Imaging Systems 7.5 credits

This course is intended for students in the program Engineering Physics, the Master program Medical Engineering or other programs.

The goal with the course is to provide an understanding of the field of medical imaging, with focus on x-ray based modalities. The medical imaging machines are important diagnostic tools for doctors working in the clinic and a good image can save a life. However, exposing patients to ionizing radiation comes with an associated risk from the radiation dose. Therefore, it is of utter most importance that the information acquired from an x-ray measurement is utilized to its fullest and this is where the research and development of medical imaging modalities has its focus – optimization of image quality versus patient dose.

Medical imaging is a multi-billion dollar industry and the machines are produced by many of the big electronics companies in the world, including Phillips, Siemens, General Electric, Toshiba, etc.

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus SH2310 (Spring 2016–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course treats the physical, mathematical and technological aspects of medical imaging systems from a signals-and-systems point of view. Modalities (imaging types) covered include:

  • Projection Radiography

  • Computed tomography (CT)

  • Planar Scintigraphy

  • Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)

  • Positron emission tomography (PET)

  • Ultrasound imaging (briefly)

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (briefly)

Numerical methods to quantify the performance of medical imaging systems are presented. The design of medical imaging systems usually involves a number of tradeoffs involving parameters such as: contrast, spatial resolution, noise, image acquisition time, size and cost. It is a major goal of the course to provide an understanding of these relations.

Intended learning outcomes

After completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Explain the physical and technological principles behind various types of radiation detectors and imaging modalities.

  • Use the signals and systems approach to describe and estimate the quality of an imaging system.

  • Display understanding of the Fourier space representation of images.

  • Use the physics of radiation absorption and generation together with the geometries of the different imaging modalities to solve numerical problems.

  • Perform image reconstruction for Computed Tomography in simple cases and understand the sinogram representation of images.

The student is required to use a mathematical programming language such as MATLAB for the hand-ins and laboratory work.

To qualify for the highest grades, the student should also demonstrate the ability to:

  • Identify physical and current technological limitations of medical imaging systems.

  • Apply knowledge from imaging modalities within the course content on novel imaging techniques.

  • Solve medical imaging problems that relate to statistics and probability theory.

  • Show understanding of the connection between the image quality metrics (e.g. PSF, MTF, NPS, SNR) and the final image.

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science or equivalent.

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


No information inserted


Jerry L. Prince, Jonathan M. Links, "Medical Imaging Signals and Systems", 1st Edition (2009) or 2nd Edition (2014)

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • LAB1 - Laboratory Work, 3.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 4.5 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

One written exam (TEN1; 4,5 university credits) and laboratory work, including compulsory participation in visits at Hospital (LAB1; 3 university credits). Hand-in assignments during the course give bonus points for the written exam.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Profile picture Mats Persson

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web SH2310

Offered by

SCI/Undergraduate Physics

Main field of study


Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Martin Sjölin (

Supplementary information

Replaced by SH2314