Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - 3D ANATOMICAL HUMAN (3D anatomical functional models for the human musculoskeletal system)

The main objective of 3DAH was the development of realistic functional 3D models of the human musculoskeletal system to improve the accessibility and usability of such simulation models in the medical and clinical environments. The network is naturally pluri-disciplinary and pluri-institutional and strives to bridge complementary approaches for modelling and simulating the musculoskeletal system with methods spanning multiple levels of anatomy and physiological processes. 3DAH made significant scientific contributions in the areas of multi-modal data acquisition, anatomical modelling and interactive visualization, neuromuscular and soft-tissue simulations, in-silico and in-vitro evaluation, and finally knowledge management. The project proposed a multi-scale subject-specific integrated pipeline to yield realistic 3D lower limb models which could be simulated and visualised in motion at different anatomical (organ, tissue) and functional (kinematics, kinetics, neuromuscular) levels.

From a training and transfer of knowledge viewpoint, the project has strongly supported and encouraged early stage and experienced researchers to organise and to take part in many (international) events organized by the project. As a consequence, 17 tutorials and technical trainings were held and more than 60 exchanges took place between institutions. In addition, the project organised landmark successful events such as the workshops on the 3D Physiological Human 2008 and 2009 and the 3DAH summer schools 2008 and 2010. In addition to attract international researchers, these events invited other EU and national projects to participate, thus increasing the impact and visibility of the project and the Marie Curie Actions.

Impact on health of citizens and patients' lives
The 3DAH project is definitively on the track of the EU initiative of the 3D virtual physiological human (VPH). The VPH has the ambition to provide computational models of human biology and physiology to support predictive medicine. By contributing to this cutting-edge research, 3DAH focused on 3 main objectives:
- Increase people awareness on the various research topics involved in the understanding of the human musculoskeletal system. To achieve that, a great number of multimedia and educative materials were made available to the public through the project's (collaborative) website.
- Provide effective research tools and methodologies to the clinical and the biomechanical community by taking part in scientific events and by publishing innovative research.
- Train the new leading generation of researchers who will have to face the many challenges of tomorrow which include an aging population who aspires for a cost-effective and appropriate healthcare system. EU citizens will strongly benefit from the project activity and its outcomes.

In fact, the study of the musculoskeletal system is of paramount importance since musculoskeletal diseases (MSDs) and related disorders are the leading cause of disability in the EU. They account for more than half of all chronic conditions in people over 50 years of age in developed countries. As the population ages and physical capabilities decline, more European citizens will develop MSDs than ever before. This will require extensive adaptation of their work and life style in order to maintain functional capability. The burden of MSD and related disorders in the EU presents a compelling argument for greater understanding through expanding research and training of experts. This social, economical and health challenge is clearly one of the main motivations of the 3DAH project.

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