Bio-Medical Imaging and Its Application Beyond Clinical Medicine

Ann Margvelashvili



Record of interest in the human body starts from ancient times, about 1600 BCE. Already in the 2nd century, Galen was a skilled surgeon performing operations. He discovered that the larynx generates voice and was a pioneer in research on the human spine. Later in the 16th century, Vesalius conducted highly precise dissections, producing detailed plates together with the artists present during the dissection process. In 1895 Röntgen discovered the X-rays, enabling the visualization of the internal structures of the living humans revolutionizing modern medicine. The development of modern visualization techniques opened new horizons not only in medicine but in other fields of science.


The research aims to show the capabilities and application of biomedical imaging techniques beyond clinical applications, thus, advancing the different fields of science.  

Materials and Methods

Five crania and four mandibles of early humans from Dmanisi, Georgia dated to 1.77 million years were analyzed. Data acquisition was performed through computer tomography and synchrotron tomography. Data was transferred to high-performance workstations and analyzed in 3D softwares such as VGStudio-Max, Avizo, and OsirixMD. The 3D models of the fossil hominins were produced on Eden260 using 3D softwares GeoMagic and Objet.


Through modern techniques of biomedical imaging reconstruction and visualization of fossil hominins were performed. Morphological features and pathologies such as hypercementosis, dental caries, traumatic injuries, and infectious diseases were identified. Moreover, the traces of predation on hominins were recognized, thus providing additional information on the lifestyle of early humans.


Biomedical imaging is key in the research and analysis of fossil materials in the fields of paleontology and paleoanthropology. The data acquisition through computer tomography is a non-invasive way to virtually preserve the fossil material, reconstruct it, and produce 3D models. Modern research on the physiological and pathological conditions of the fossil material is only possible through biomedical imaging, thus, reconstructing not only the morphology of the bones but also implying the lifestyle and survival strategies of the fossil findings.


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ISSN: 2346-8491 (online)