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Chemistry in Biomedical Imaging for Physicists

Module PH2226

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of SS 2019

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
WS 2021/2SS 2021WS 2020/1SS 2020WS 2019/20SS 2019SS 2018WS 2017/8WS 2015/6

Basic Information

PH2226 is a semester module in English language at Master’s level which is offered every semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Biophysics
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Focus Area Imaging in M.Sc. Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 30 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2226 in the version of SS 2019 was Franz Pfeiffer.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


1.     Introduction to biomedical imaging

2.     Introduction to the chemistry involved in the biomedical imaging modalities

3.     Chemical methodology for labelling and bioconjugation

4.     Contrast agents for computed tomography (CT)

5.     Nanoparticle-based contrast agents for CT

6.     Contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

7.     Nanoparticle-based contrast agents for MRI

8.     Contrast agents for positron emission tomography (PET) I

9.     Contrast agents for PET II

10.   Contrast agents for microscopy techniques

11.   Contrast agents for fluorescence microscopy

12.  Immunofluorescence techniques

13.  Multimodal imaging, emerging modalities and techniques

Learning Outcome

After successful lecture participation the student is able to:

1. apply the basic principles of the discussed biomedical imaging techniques (computed tomography, microscopic techniques, magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography) for assigning chemical properties to contrast agents used for biomedical imaging;

2. identify the biomedical imaging technique(s) being addressed with a specific contrast agent;

3. analyze chemical structures, properties and strategies regarding biomedical imaging in a clinical and research context.


No mandatory requirements are necessary. Basic chemical understanding from the physics bachelor studies is helpful.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

The lecture introduces and explains basic chemical principles and methods, which are needed for the contrast agents used in biomedical imaging. Later, this knowledge will be applied to the contrast agent chemistry involved in biomedical imaging techniques.

During the lecture, experiments and macroscopic illustrative materials such as molecule models are used to exemplify the presented theory. Interactive discussions with and amongst the students are encouraged through individual and group work. Here, the two aspects of knowledge acquisition and presentation as well as knowledge repetition and application are addressed. For that matter, various methods such as accompanying worksheets or interactive online quizzes are used.

The lecture material contains of textbook recommendations and scientific references, which aim to promote an independent literature research. The students are guided to further deepen their understanding of the topics discussed during the individual lectures. In addition to the lecture script, learning outcome tables are presented, which contain example questions over the different taxonomies (name, understand, apply, analyse, evaluate and create knowledge). In this way, the students are guided towards the final exam of this module.


Power point presentation

Interactive online quiz


Interactive discussions

Textbook/Scientific article



1. N. J. LongandW.-T.Wong,Thechemistryofmolecularimaging.2015,Hoboken,New Jersey:Wiley.

2. H. Y. Chen,M. M.Rogalski,andJ. N.Anker,AdvancesinfunctionalX-rayimaging echniquesandcontrastagents.PhysicalChemistry


3. H. Lusicetal.,X-raycomputedtomographycontrastagentsforcartilageimaging.Abstracts ofPapersoftheAmericanChemicalSociety,


4. N. Lee,S. H.Choi,andT.Hyeon,Nano-SizedCTContrastAgents.AdvancedMaterials, 2013.25(19):p.2641-2660.

5. N. J. Pelc,RecentandFutureDirectionsinCTImaging.AnnalsofBiomedicalEngineering, 2014.42(2):p.260-268.

6. Y. L. Liu,K. L.Ai,andL. H.Lu,NanoparticulateX-rayComputedTomographyContrast Agents:FromDesignValidationtoinVivo


7.V. ShirshahiandM.Soltani,Solidsilicananoparticles:applicationsin

    molecular imaging.Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging, 2015.10(1):p.117.

8. S. I. Ziegler,Positronemissiontomography:Principles,technology,andrecent developments.NuclearPhysicsA,

    2005. 752:p.679C-687C.

9. M. BraddockandRoyalSocietyofChemistry(GreatBritain),Biomedicalimaging – The chemistryoflabels,probesand

    contrast agents,inRSCdrugdiscovery.2011,Royal SocietyofChemistry,:Cambridge.p.1onlineresource(1v.).

10. L. Helm,A. E.Merbach,andE.v.Tóth,Thechemistryofcontrastagentsinmedicalmagnetic resonanceimaging.Secondedition/ed.

      2013, Hoboken,NJ:JohnWiley&SonsInc.

11. D.  W.  Townsend,Multimodalityimagingofstructureandfunction.PhysicsinMedicineand Biology,2008.53(4):p.R1-R39.

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be an oral exam of 25 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using comprehension questions and case studies.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • Why is gadolinium used in MRI contrast agent design?
  • Review the chemical structures on the provided worksheet and assign each substance to the biomedical imaging technique(s).
  • What contrast agent is the best choice? Discuss the question by using the provided table.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

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