The present proposal describes a TRIAL take-up action intended to transfer a set of leading edge computational technologies from the technology Owners (B3C and IOR) to the technology user (AET). AET software house intends to use them to develop a distributed system to support the design of joint prostheses. B3C, IOR and AET will collaborate with two perspective customers (Cremascoli Ortho and HitMedica) to evaluate these technologies in the specific application context: the design of standard joint implants. Standard joint prostheses are supposed to fit reasonably well into any normal anatomy. These devices are currently designed based on experience and with reference to average anatomies. From the end user point view the application developed in this action will improve the design of standard implant providing quantitative feed backs indicating the implant fitting into a large data base of real human anatomies CT data sets.
The project aim is to adapt the software components developed by IOR and B3C to build up a simulation environment supporting and improving the design of standard joint implants. The system will be composed by a 3D navigational environment allowing the designers to position their implant design in a reference anatomy represented by the CT data set. Once the bone-implant position is defined, an automatic procedure, running on a remote HPC facility would automatically "fit" the implant design into a database of human bones CT data sets. For each bone in the database, the procedure will calculate a set of indicators summarised in a synthetic report that will be used by the designer to evaluate its design on a statistical basis. The system should be easy to integrate with the commercial CAD software currently used by prostheses manufacturers.
During this project the hip joint preoperative planning system (HIPOP) developed by IOR and B3C will be adapted to meet the needs of the hip joint design specifications. In particular the interface of the preoperative planning system will be adapted to the designers needs and will be integrated with the procedure for the simulation of the implant fitting into the anatomy data base. The workflow will be based on a developmental approach to the definition and the implementation of the software. This strategy simplifies the analysis phase allowing the user to defined the specifications while using the new program. Initially a basic Tcl/Tk interface will be laid down. This prototype interface will allow some basic data navigation functions already developed for the HIPOP project and will be delivered to beta testers for a limited time. This will lead to the definition of the interface requirements. In the meanwhile B3C will train AET (the software house developing the final system) staff on the HIPOP architecture and software technology. At the end of this first phase, AET and B3C should have a clear understanding of the general User specifications and of the real usage extent of the Hipop technologies in the JPD software. The first analysis-implementation-testing cycle will produce the Navigation environment. The programme will provide the GUI to all the JPD software plus the functions used by the designer to position the new implant design into the reference anatomy. The second cycle will be focused on the design evaluation procedures. Density maps and distance maps, already available within Hipop, will probably be sufficient to demonstrate the technology. A similar function, to measure the thickness of the cement mantle in cemented implants, will be derived from the distance maps with minimal effort if required by the end users. The third cycle will be devoted to the remote execution of the design evaluation procedures on the anatomies database.
The following results are expected:
1) a detailed definition of the user requirements and of the trial metrics,
2) a well trained staff at AET, ready to fully exploit Hipop capabilities in the JPD applications,
3) fully functional JPD design environment evaluated according to the project metrics,
4) growth of AET market share,
5) awareness of the project results among the orthopaedic devices manufacturers.
Funding SchemeACM - Preparatory, accompanying and support measures