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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 365812, 17 pages
Review Article

Pushing CT and MR Imaging to the Molecular Level for Studying the “Omics”: Current Challenges and Advancements

Healthcare Sector, Siemens Limited Taiwan, 2F No. 3, Yuan Qu Street, Nan Gang District, Taipei 11503, Taiwan

Received 18 October 2013; Revised 26 December 2013; Accepted 24 January 2014; Published 13 March 2014

Academic Editor: Yu-Hua Dean Fang

Copyright © 2014 Hsuan-Ming Huang and Yi-Yu Shih. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


During the past decade, medical imaging has made the transition from anatomical imaging to functional and even molecular imaging. Such transition provides a great opportunity to begin the integration of imaging data and various levels of biological data. In particular, the integration of imaging data and multiomics data such as genomics, metabolomics, proteomics, and pharmacogenomics may open new avenues for predictive, preventive, and personalized medicine. However, to promote imaging-omics integration, the practical challenge of imaging techniques should be addressed. In this paper, we describe key challenges in two imaging techniques: computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and then review existing technological advancements. Despite the fact that CT and MRI have different principles of image formation, both imaging techniques can provide high-resolution anatomical images while playing a more and more important role in providing molecular information. Such imaging techniques that enable single modality to image both the detailed anatomy and function of tissues and organs of the body will be beneficial in the imaging-omics field.