Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Biomedical Engineering - Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering

Research Sponsor

Dr. James Keszenheimer

First Reader

Dr. Lawrence Noble

Second Reader

Dr. Mary Verstraete


Computerized tomography (CT) scans are a common clinical imaging procedure used worldwide. Operating in the X-Ray spectrum, these machines rotate scanners around a stationary body in order to compile two-dimensional images into a unified three-dimensional image. With adjustment to scan frequency and intensity, internal features such as muscles, organs, and tendons can easily be viewed. However, the heart has long evaded CT use due to its near-constant motion. Recently, cardiac-gated scans have entered the market as a technique to image the heart at a specific moment in time when it is nearly still - the quiescent period. Occurring during rapid depolarization of the ventricles, the stationary heart is briefly imaged until the next cycle occurs and quiescence re-emerges. Cardiac-gated imaging requires an electrogardiography (ECG) input from the heart in order to coordinate with the movements of the CT scanner. A software application was developed for FMI Medical Systems to integrate a pre-existing CT scanner with an ECG. The software was responsible for reading a raw ECG input from a system network port, analyzing the signal, and triggering the CT to scan during the quiescent period of the heart. This required the code to interface with the ECG and the CT, which were both simulated for testing and demonstration purposes. The complexity of software design was approached by an iterative process, where portions of code were developed to meet specific customer and engineering requirements. The final code will be used by FMI to bring cardiac-gated functionality to their CT scanners.