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SIMULATION OF MULTIPLE MEDICAL-IMAGING MODALITIES: A NEW PARADIGM FOR VIRTUAL REPRESENTATION OF MUSCULO-SKELETAL STRUCTURES

Objective

Accurate knowledge of human functional anatomy, in both physiological and pathological conditions, is of importance in many medical fields, as well as in industrial areas such as biomedical engineering. The three-dimensional aspects of functional anatomy are particularly important but they are exceedingly difficult to present in a meaningful way. Thus, the visualisation and virtual manipulation of anatomical objects represent a challenge on which to test innovative techniques. The present proposal concerns the visualisation of, and interaction with, data related to musculo-skeletal structures. The project will create a user-friendly visualisation environment, in which all the information is integrated, registered and synchronised into a set of multiple views inspired by medical-imaging modalities that are already familiar to the biomedical professional to enable him to use his previous experience to enhanced effect.

OBJECTIVES
The project will develop and validate a new virtual representation paradigm for anatomical objects using a multimedia-based, multi-modality view of the clinical information. Instead of pursuing virtual REALISM, which would be unfamiliar to most professionals, this new visual representation will pursue clinical RELEVANCE. It will rely on multiple synchronised views, each one simulating a different Imaging Modality. Some views will convey conventional medical imaging modalities (RX, CT, MRI, endoscopy), eventually animated by movement information, while others will involve unconventional representation of the organ. Some of these unconventional views will aim to visualise the organ in a more global physiological context, such as inside the moving body; others will visualise more functional data related to the specific application. Such functional data may be generated by specialised diagnostic modalities, by special image-processing algorithms or by complex multi-physics simulations.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
The first task flow begins with the description of potential user requirements through consensus surveys among professionals. The users will have to express their view on a system that has yet to be built, so we expect to gather only gross requirements at this stage. The user requirements will be used to identify the applications of greatest interest. Consensus should be reached on an application context that is general enough to validate the whole paradigm, while remaining sufficiently small to allow a real-world clinical problem to be addressed effectively. The second task flow will open with a review of the relevant literature, the definition of the validation protocols and the determination of the accuracy and repeatability of the related procedures. Two demonstrator applications will be developed, with them it will be possible to carry out an assessment of effectiveness and of user acceptance. The two workflows converge on the creation of the application framework, based on the all previous activities.

A demonstrator will be presented at several small public events starting from Month 12. These events will be used the redefine the user requirements; this time the users will have an opportunity to experience some of the facilities that will be available from the project and will be in a better position to understand how these can be used within their particular areas. Relevant scientific results obtained from the project activities will be presented at international conferences starting from Month 24. The application framework will be formally launched at a large public event to be held towards the end of the project. By Month 30 the application framework should already be in a development stage, allowing the start of exploitation activities. A full business plan for extending the framework capabilities and putting the exploitation on to a sound commercial footing will be developed.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

CONSORZIO INTERUNIVERSITARIO PER LA GESTIONE DEL CENTRO DI CALCOLO ELETTRONICO DELL'ITALIA NORD-ORIENTALE
Address
Via Magnanelli 6/3
40033 Casalecchio Di Reno (Bologna)
Italy

Participants (5)

ESI SOFTWARE
France
Address
20 Rue Saarinen, Silic 303
94150 Rungis
ISTITUTI ORTOPEDICI RIZZOLI ISTITUTO DI RICOVERO E CURA
Italy
Address
Via Di Barbiano 1/10
40136 Bologna
UNIVERSITE LIBRE DE BRUXELLES
Belgium
Address
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 50
1050 Bruxelles
UNIVERSITY OF LUTON
United Kingdom
Address
Park Square Luton
LU1 3JU Luton
VICON MOTION SYSTEMS LIMITED
United Kingdom
Address
14 Minns Business Park, West Way
OX2 0JB Oxford