The research of Armando Manduca, Ph.D., focuses on the application of mathematical methods to biomedical problems, particularly imaging problems. His research has involved all aspects of medical imaging, from image reconstruction to image processing and analysis, and has spanned many modalities. Some current efforts focus on novel image reconstruction methods in MRI, to accelerate image acquisition and improve image quality; image denoising in computerized tomography (CT), to aid in the interpretation of clinical scans acquired with lower radiation dose; and processing algorithms for magnetic resonance elastography and ultrasound elastography, to image the viscoelastic properties of tissues.
- Magnetic resonance and ultrasound elastography. These techniques can directly image propagating acoustic waves in tissues and use this information to make images that depict viscoelastic properties. Tissue stiffness can be an important indicator of health or pathology (which is why doctors palpate), and numerous applications are under investigation, including in the liver, brain, lung and heart.
- Noise reduction in CT. Dr. Manduca works to develop algorithms that can reduce noise in computerized tomography images, using only information in the image to calculate and adapt to the local noise level. This improves image quality and allows the acquisition of images with lower radiation dose to the patient while maintaining diagnostic accuracy.
- Novel MRI reconstruction methods. An additional area of focus includes novel reconstruction techniques that can improve the image quality of many types of MRI scans, allow for faster acquisitions with no loss in image quality, or both. Dr. Manduca is also investigating techniques for more accurate determination of quantitative MRI parameters such as flow, diffusion, perfusion and fat-to-water concentrations.
Significance to patient care
Elastography techniques are already replacing liver biopsy as a safer, more comfortable technology for the noninvasive, quantitative assessment of liver fibrosis. These techniques have also shown promise for preoperative assessment of brain meningioma stiffness to aid in surgery planning. Applications in lung and cardiac disease, breast tumor diagnosis, and other areas are under investigation. Reducing radiation dose to patients from CT scans is currently a very high priority in radiology. Faster MRI acquisitions would reduce motion artifacts, improve the imaging of dynamic physiological processes, increase patient comfort and lower cost, and may enable new MRI applications.
- Associate editor, Medical Image Analysis, 2008-present
- Associate editor, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 1997-present