Fetal Development Imaging

We are an interdisciplinary research group and part of the Center for MR-Research. Our team uses advanced imaging techniques to depict white matter structure, brain connectivity and microvascular brain perfusion, and we aim to study the links between brain structure and function and neurological outcome in common congenital malformations.

Our research projects bridge the gap between computational imaging research in 3D microscopic, molecular and MRI techniques and application into clinical care, and thus establish foundations for imaging-driven precision medicine.

fetal tissue

Fetal Tissue Annotations Dataset and Challenge (FetA): a dataset and public challenge for machine-learning and deep-learning based image segmentation algorithm development

The FetA dataset is a valuable resource for developing automated image segmentation algorithms as it provides open source MRI data and expert manual annotations. The FetA dataset consists of 50 manually annotated, T2-weighted, super-resolution reconstructed in utero fetal MR images. The FetA is a collaborative effort between the following institutions: Center for MR-Research, University Children's Hospital Zürich, Brain Research Institute, University of Zürich, MIALS Lab, CHUV/University of Lausanne, Technical University of München and the University of Debrecen, Hungary.

The FeTA dataset has been updated to include 80 manually annotated fetal MRI data. It is part of the FeTA Grand Challenge at the MICCAI 2021 Conference. Please visit the challenge website for further information on the challenge and on how to acquire the public dataset.

Please cite our publication pre-print if you are using the dataset.

fetal developmental imaging

Morphology and connectivity of the developing human brain

Fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a cutting-edge, noninvasive medical diagnostic procedure that is used to diagnose abnormalities before birth. Our research allows the visualisation of the 3D structure of the developing fiber connectivity of the fetal brain. We are interested in how this novel technology can support clinical decision making and how the in vivo – in utero approach can extend our current knowledge of human brain development. To reveal the microstructural properties and neuronal populations of the developing human brain, we are using novel 3D microscopic imaging techniques, such as the mesoSPIM microscope at the University of Zürich.

Watch the video about this research here.