Optical 3D measurements in breast tomosynthesis


Structured light surface scanning (SLSS) is a novel technology that can be used to obtain 3D surface images of any object. SLSS has up to recently only been used for non-medical applications, while our lab was the first to propose SLSS for cancer care- or any radiology-related imaging applications, with our first report in 2015. SLSS works by projecting a series of geometric patterns onto the object of interest and capturing the reflection of these patterns in one or more cameras. After acquisition, the 3D representation of the surface of the scanned object is generated.


This project’s goal is to be able to characterize the breast shape before and after compression. Based on the data gathered we will first develop an accurate virtual model of the compressed breast shape which can then be used to improve image processing tasks in breast imaging, such as for example scatter correction and 3D reconstruction. So far, a craniocaudal (CC) view analysis has already been performed and in this internship, we aim to implement the mediolateral oblique (MLO) setup and analysis of the breast under compression.

Surface scans breast Marta.png

Example of a 3D scan of a compressed breast in CC view (a) before merging and (b) after merging.

Your tasks

  • Implementing the MLO view setup in the breast system room
  • Operating the cameras and gathering new data while the imaging technologist performs the regular tomosynthesis exam
  • Performing the initial validation of the measured data

(Patient recruitment can also be included in the task list if you are proficient in Dutch)

Depending on the requirements of the internship/MSc thesis project and the interests of the candidate, the work can then focus on an initial evaluation of the acquired dataset and new setup, processing the optical data and/or start building the virtual breast model by performing a principal component analysis of the breast shape during compression based on the data.

Who are we looking for:

  • Bachelor/Master Student in biomedical engineering, medical physics, computer science, physics, technical medicine or similar, with interests in biomedical research and medical imaging
  • Some knowledge in programming (Matlab, Python, C++, or similar) is preferred and the willingness to improve your skills in medical image analysis
  • Professional communication skills in English, both written and spoken
  • Your part in the project can be more practical or more technical, according to your interest

Additional Information

  • No financial compensation will be given for this project
  • The optimal duration of the internship / MSc thesis project is 4-6 months, although it can be adjusted according to the student needs
  • Starting date is flexible but we are looking for candidates from March onwards
  • The project can result in an internship or Master’s thesis.

Contact Information

If you are interested in this project, or need any further information, please contact Marta Pinto (marta.pinto@radboudumc.nl). You can also check and find more information on the page of this specific research project.

Radboud University Medical Center

Nijmegen is the oldest Dutch city with a rich history and one of the liveliest city centers in the Netherlands. Radboud University has over 17,000 students. Radboud University Medical Centre (Radboudumc) is a leading academic center for medical science, education and health care with over 8,500 staff and 3,000 students. Radboudumc strives to be a leading developer of sustainable, innovative and affordable healthcare to improve the health and wellbeing of people and society in the Netherlands and beyond. This is the core of our mission: To have a significant impact on healthcare. The Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine is one of the most active research departments of the Radboudumc, where more than 100 researchers are continuously striving to optimize healthcare.