Project Description


Non-invasive imaging for advanced morpho-functional diagnostics

laboratorio napoli

The Laboratory intends to exploit the joint effort of academic, clinical and industrial partners for developing new technologies for non (or minimally) invasive morfo-functional medical imaging and Computer Aided Diagnostic (CAD) systems in several domains including Cardiology, Rheumatology and Orthopaedics.


The objective of the Laboratory is to research new methodologies for extending the applicability of non invasive medical imaging systems including MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and Ultrasound (US) with the final goal to develop Computed Aided Diagnosis (CAD) applications suitable to support the physicians in their clinical activity.

Three main objectives are considered:

  • CAD for echocardiography;
  • CAD for MRI in rheumatology and orthopaedics;
  • Dedicated dynamic MRI system for pelvic floor study.

These objectives are parts of an integrated strategy for developing a large range of technologies suitable the be exploited by the industrial partners involved in the initiative and tested by the clinical parties.

algoWatt is mainly involved in the second objective, CAD for MRI in rheumatology and orthopaedics.

The goal is the development of software technologies leading to an image analysis and interpretation framework covering all steps requested by an MRI based CAD application (filtering, segmentation, 3D modelling, knowledge base creation and maintenance, artificial intelligence inference engine). The specific medical area addressed is rheumatic and orthopaedic, which are the target application of the MRI devices produced by the partners of the Laboratory. Nevertheless the technologies developed have a larger applicability and will lead to applications in other domain after suitable development in cooperation with specific clinical experts. Within the laboratory medical expertise in the specific domain addressed is provided by academic and clinical partners, who support dedicated application development and validation.

The data analysis technologies developed aim at providing a wide range of objectives and repeatable parameter measurement tools able to work automatically or with a minimal operator intervention. The parameters constitute a rich representation of the status of the pathology and are analysed and interpreted by “knowledge based” modules to support the diagnostic process, taking into account also additional measures and observations provided by external devices and/or by the physician.

The study intends also to exploit the new diagnostic capabilities made possible by the innovative feature of the MRI devices produced by consortium partner ESAOTE, which allows comparison of weight bearing and supine spine examination. At this end specific comparison tools are developed, which allow to measure weight bearing effect and to compare examination performed at different time.


A consolidated research group with a renowned academic and industrial profile.

  • ESAOTE S.p.A. (IT)
  • CNR IBB – National Research Council, Biometry and Bioimaging Institute (IT)
  • CNR ICAR – National Research Council, Institute of High Performance Computing and Networking (IT)
  • CNR IFC – National Research Council, Institute of Clinical Physiology (IT)
  • CINI – National University Consortium for Informatics (IT)
  • 2nd University of Naples – Dipartimento di Internistica Clinica e Sperimentale “Flaviano Magrassi” (IT)
  • Univerity of Salento – ISUFI – Istituto Superiore Universitario per la Formazione Interdisciplinare (IT)
  • SDN, Istituto di Ricerca Diagnostica e Nucleare (IT)
  • CRIAI – Consorzio Campano di Ricerca per l’Informatica e l’Automazione (IT)
  • algoWatt SpA (IT)
  • ELESTA S.r.l.(IT)




Bando Laboratori DD MIUR 14.5.2005 n.602/Ric/2005

60 months