Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Department of Medical Biophysics
B.Sc. (Tehran Polytechnic University) 1987
M.Sc. (Tehran University) 1991
Ph.D. (University of Waterloo) 1997
Dr. Abbas Samani holds a joint faculty position in the Departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Medical Biophysics at the University of Western Ontario. He is also a core faculty member of the newly established Western’s Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program, and is an Associate Scientist of the Imaging Research Laboratories at Robarts Research Institute. His research interests are biological tissue modeling and its applications in medical imaging and intervention, and image analysis.
It is well known that variations in tissue elasticity are associated with the presence of cancer. Manual palpation of the breast and the prostate is a simple qualitative technique used by clinicians for cancer assessment. Elastography has been developed over the past decade as a quantitative elasticity imaging technique to detect breast, prostate and other types of cancer. Over the past few years Dr. Samani has developed novel robust Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE) reconstruction techniques that can be reliably used for breast cancer diagnosis. One obstacle associated with using elastography as a clinical diagnostic tool is its dependence on various parameters used in the elastography procedures. This makes interpreting the resulting elastograms very difficult. Dr. Samani has been recently working on the development of a non-linear elasticity reconstruction model which not only addresses this issue but also leads to higher quality and more reliable elastograms.
Medical Image Registration
Comparison or combination the information of medical images has been recently shown to substantially increase the value of medical imaging as an effective diagnostic tool. This, however, cannot be done reliably unless the images are presented in the same framework. The need for image registration often arises from tissue translation, rotation or deformation due to mechanical factors such as body position and tissue compression that, in practice, cannot be precisely controlled while the patient undergoes the imaging procedure. There are several algorithms used for image registration the majority of which treat images as pure mathematical entities and ignore the main source of image misregistration related to mechanical factors. Dr. Samani has been developing image registration algorithms based on the biomechanics of soft tissues. This approach is capable of producing highly reliable results especially when large amount of image distortion is involved due to large tissue deformation. This becomes very important in using multi modality imaging techniques with the aim of increasing the sensitivity and specificity of medical images.
KEYWORDS: Soft tissue modeling; magnetic resonance elastography; electrical impedance tomography; medical image registration; imaging of myocardial biomechanical parameters.