Meet our researchers: precision and depth that drives research forward
Within the medical world, there is a growing need to be able to take images of our interior with increasing precision. In addition to image resolution and different types of image information, it is also about examining the human body’s micro universe at levels of detail never previously described. At these levels, new answers may be hidden about diseases and how the body’s different systems function.
Part of the research takes place at LBIC (Lund University Bioimaging Centre), a medical imaging centre at Lund University. LBIC handles a number of imaging methods within bioimaging with a focus on different clinical and preclinical cameras (MR, CT and PET) as well as microscopy.
Cellular and molecular research, animal studies, examination of human tissues and organs and imaging of patients – can all be carried out at LBIC and can be combined in different ways in the same study.
“More and more researchers and industry clients are searching for holistic infrastructures to be able to combine, for example, cellular research with animal and human studies. LBIC is a core facility at which we work from ‘micro to macro’ and can thereby create such comprehensive solutions based on an individual researcher’s needs”, explains Pia Sundgren, deputy director of LBIC and professor at Lund University.
Operating national research infrastructure
The majority of the infrastructure is located under the same roof. Data processing, virtual image visualisation lab and networking opportunities with other researchers are part of the concept.
The 7T camera (7 Tesla) is a particularly powerful magnetic camera of 7 Tesla and a national piece of infrastructure that LBIC operates on behalf of all of Sweden since 2015.
“The magnification and image resolution on the 7T camera provides greatly improved possibilities to study anatomical, metabolic structures and microstructural changes in both humans and animals”, explains Pia Sundgren.
"More and more researchers and industry clients are searching for holistic infrastructures."
Pia Sundgren carries out clinical research herself with a focus on brain cancer and the autoimmune disease SLE, and the imaging facilities at LBIC play a key role in her studies.
She primarily takes images with a clinical magnetic camera of 3T (3 Tesla). However, she also uses the 7T camera, which provides even better images to study the brain in detail with a focus on SLE and brain tumours.
Medical imaging centre in step with the times
The aim for brain cancer research is to break new ground for the classification and differentiation of different types of tumours and, in this way, learn more about disease types as well as being able to optimise treatment.
“I am driven by the desire to extend the length of survival and increase the quality of life for brain cancer patients. Within SLE, I am primarily focused on contributing new basic knowledge”, says Pia Sundgren.
The technical development within bioimaging is fast-paced, and modern medical research often requires more comprehensive and costly infrastructure than ever before. LBIC has the ambition to be at the forefront and to upgrade the infrastructure in step with technology and method development. A light sheet microscope has been purchased and is soon to be installed.
Text and photo: Björn Martinsson
Light sheet microscope = Light microscope technology for fast and light-effective imaging of larger samples (relative to light microscopy) such as organs from mice or rats
MR = imaging method with a magnetic camera (MR= magnetic resonance)
PET, SPECT, CT = different imaging methods that use ionising radiation. CT is sometimes called tomography. In PET and SPECT, the radiation is combined with a trace element that, for example, can be taken by mouth.
Name: Pia Sundgren
Works: deputy director at LBIC, consultant at the neurology unit at Skåne University Hospital. She is a professor of radiology and researcher at Lund University. She specialises in diagnostic radiology, particularly neuroimaging.
Family: Husband Pavel, son Alexander
Lives: Gamla Väster, Malmö
In her free time:she likes going to classical concerts or the opera, reading fiction (must be analogue!), exercising, and downhill skiing. Renovating the summer house.
Superpower: she is determined, diligent and can survive on few hours of sleep.