Winning images from the Wellcome Image Awards 2014 are wow

  • This image of a mechanical heart pump in the thorax was created from a new type of scan known as dual energy computed tomography (DECT) angiography. It was awarded top spot in the Wellcome Image Awards 2014. Credit: Anders Persson
  • Scanning electron micrograph of a kidney stone (nephrolithiasis). Credit: Kevin Mackenzie, University of Aberdeen
  • Bird's eye (axial) view of nerve fibres in a normal, healthy adult human brain. Credit: Zeynep M Saygin, McGovern Institute, MIT
  • False-coloured scanning electron micrograph of a zebrafish embryo. Credit: Annie Cavanagh
  • Scanning electron micrograph of a multi-cellular breast tumour spheroid (cluster of cells) treated with nanomedicines carrying the anticancer drug doxorubicin. The purple regions show areas of cells dying through a mechanism known as programmed cell death or 'apoptosis' while the blue regions represent healthy cells. Credit: Khuloud T Al-Jamal & Izzat Suffian
  • Density-dependent colour scanning electron micrograph of the surface of human heart (aortic valve) tissue displaying calcification in the form of spherical particles. The orange colour identifies denser material (calcified material composed of calcium phosphate), while structures that appear in green are less dense (corresponding to the organic component of the tissue). Credit: Sergio Bertazzo, Department of Materials, Imperial College London
  • X-ray projection of a brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus), captured and killed by a cat. The brown long-eared bat is a medium sized bat with ears almost as long as its body. Credit: Chris Thorn | xrayartdesign.co.uk
  • Lagena species: Foraminifera are marine, bottom-living predators which secrete a calcium carbonate test (external shell or case). This specimen came from the South China Sea and has a narrow neck with an external corkscrew-like thread. Credit: Spike Walker
  • False-coloured scanning electron micrograph of a head louse egg (green) attached to a strand of human hair (brown). Credit: Kevin Mackenzie, University of Aberdeen
  • A deer tick (Ixodes Ricinus) embedded in the leg of a man. Credit:Ashley Prytherch, Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Bird's eye view of a model of a medieval human mandible (lower jawbone). Credit:Kevin Mackenzie, University of Aberdeen
  • Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of an Arabidopsis thaliana flower, also commonly known as thale cress. Credit: Stefan Eberhard
Date:12 March 2014 Tags:, , ,

The 13th Wellcome Image Awards were announced on 11 March 2014, recognising the creators of the most informative, striking and technically excellent images recently acquired by Wellcome Images, as chosen by a panel of judges.

A striking image of a mechanical heart pump inside the chest of a patient was announced as the overall winner of the Wellcome Image Awards 2014.

The image was captured by Anders Persson, Director of the Centre for Medical Image Science and Visualisation (CMIV) at Linköping University in Sweden. Professor Persson was one of the first people to introduce the use of colour 3D images from scans into daily clinical practice.

This image was created from a new type of scan known as dual energy computed tomography (DECT) angiography. Unlike a conventional computer tomography (CT) scan, DECT uses two sources of X-rays at different energies to scan the patient. These are then digitally reconstructed in three dimensions and can be rotated, sliced or magnified for greater clarity. DECT provides higher quality images than conventional CT without the need for exposure to additional radiation. This technique is extremely useful for noninvasively investigating and diagnosing medical conditions and for performing virtual autopsies.

BBC Medical Correspondent Fergus Walsh, who was a member of the judging panel, and presented this year’s awards said: “Anders Persson’s 3D image of a mechanical heart fitted inside a human chest is truly stunning. The juxtaposition of delicate human anatomy with the robust mechanical plumbing parts is dramatic, and the image is rendered so vividly in 3D that it appears to jump out at the viewer.”

The Wellcome Image Awards celebrate the best in science imaging talent and techniques. This is the second time that an overall winner has been selected. It is one of 18 winning images chosen from those acquired by the Wellcome Images picture library since the 2012 Awards. From scanning electron micrographs of a kidney stone and a head louse egg, to an x-ray of a bat, a 3D computed tomography image of a seal skull and a cross section of a flower bud, the images show in minute detail the wonder that can be found in the world around and within us.

Fergus Walsh added: “As always, this year’s entries are both technically brilliant, and visually spectacular. Never before have I thought of a kidney stone or a nit as beautiful, but the Wellcome Image Awards show time and again that there can always be a different way of looking at things.”