THANKS for an inspiring, open-minded and fruitful week in the French Alps dedicated to IMAGING the BIOMECHANICS of LIFE!

13th ESMI Winter Conference "hot TOPIics in IMaging - TOPIM 2019"


Exploring physical parameters in patients is one of the oldest medical approaches: liver elasticity, arterial pulsation, palpation of nodes, abnormal hardness, measurement of temperature, are a few examples of the paramount importance of assessing the physical parameters of living tissues in medical practice. Paradoxically, the scientific basis of these observations remained largely unexplored until recently, when new tools developed for high level physics were spectacularly brought to imaging science. It is therefore no surprise that Atomic Force Microscopy, Optical Coherence Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Elastometry, Ultrafast ultrasound, Multispectral Optoacoustic tomography, Optical tweezers, Diffusion imaging, etc. have invaded research labs or doctors’ practices. We are witnessing a true revolution in biological research laboratories, where the doors are now wide open to physicists, engineers and mathematicians. In fact, successful biological research is unthinkable without their contribution, and it is fascinating to note how rapidly this is happening.

Biologists must learn how to converse in the new transdisciplinary context and conversely, physicists should take into consideration the new tools that bioengineering continuously produces for addressing the physical properties of living matter: cell adhesion sensors, genetically encoded piezoelectric molecular complexes, not to mention the millions of targeted mutations in various animal models that offer myriads of experimental situations to test.

In vivo imaging is based on measuring the changes in the properties of particles and waves as they travel through the body and is naturally at the forefront of the physics-biology dialog. Hence, TOPIM 2019 will stand at the crossroad of physics, imaging and biology, to present and discuss the new methods for Imaging the physical properties of living matter and the shift in biological paradigms that they produce.

Poster Award Winners

  • Tomograhic imaging in the II near infrared window can reveal structures from highly opaque samples. Asier Marcos-Vidal, Madrid
  • Endobronchial ultrasound strain elastography imaging of mediastinal lymph nodes; can it predict malignancy? Roel Verhoeven, Nijmegen