Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Simulating surgery to reduce implant complications

24.04.2008
A computer simulation breakthrough could mean fewer medical complications and better surgical outcomes for patients undergoing hip, knee or spinal implant surgery.

Each year surgeons across Europe perform a staggering 900,000 hip, knee and spinal implant operations. Implant surgery is one of the most remarkable advances in medical science. Such operations restore increased mobility and a vastly improved quality of life to millions of Europeans.

Implant surgery also has one of the most remarkable success rates in medical practice, with reliable, predictable outcomes and very few complications. But it is not complication free.

“About 10 per cent of operations have complications, often requiring a new implant, or a further surgery,” explains Dr. Ing. Ruben Lafuente, technical manager of the Spanish IT consulting firm Adapting S.L. and co-ordinator of the OrthoSim project. “It means increased pain and inconvenience, a drain on human resources and of course it is expensive, too.”

Enter the EU-funded OrthoSim project. Set up to develop an orthopaedic surgery planning tool, OrthoSim has developed a platform that can significantly reduce the risk of post-op complications, as well as provide a means for testing new implant devices, the researchers claim. And in the very near future the platform will provide the base for a new surgical training tool.

Simulating the interface
The OrthoSim platform is a system using computer software to create anatomical and implant simulations. The simulation models are based on the work of two leading European biomechanics research centres.

“Our lumbar spinal region model is the result of over 20 years of research at the Laboratoire de Biomecanique of L’Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Arts et Metiers in Paris,” explains Lafuente. “It was enhanced and complemented by a lumbar implant model provided by the Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia in Spain.”

These models were combined to provide a reliable simulation of the interface between the artificial implant and the living tissue, providing surgeons with vital pre-op information.

“With this service, a surgeon or implant engineer can effectively call on the expertise of the best people in any field of orthopaedic surgery, where biomechanical simulation can offer new insights for patient care,” Lafuente says.

Even better, the tool can be used to study the suitability of new implant devices and can help pinpoint any problems with the design at an early stage.

“Implant designers get the opportunity to test their new designs initially without the need for actual implantations,” notes Lafuente. “It will mean better implant designs at an early stage, cutting costs and research time, as well as improving outcomes early on.”

Solving the integration problem

The models are linked together and are hosted at an online service. Integrating the various models and algorithms into a unified platform was a difficult computer science problem to solve.

“We had to work very hard to get the protocols right and we spent a lot of time developing the user interface, too,” says Lafuente. “We wanted to make the service as simple to use as possible.”

The OrthoSim project ended in March last year, with the research team successfully combining the various elements of the project. Since then the partners have been developing the service offering further and are looking for financial support.

“Initially we had a model just for lumbar spine implants, but in the last months we have almost completed a validated model for hip implants,” says Lafuente. “We believe that once we finish perfecting a model for knee implants we will have a very strong set of tools to offer surgeons.”

But Lafuente warns that developing new products for the health market is a very difficult task in itself.

“The quality assurance and validation issues are very important in healthcare directed products, and will require more work,” he says.

That work continues. A follow-on project, called OrthoTraining, is taking the OrthoSim toolset a step further. Over the next two years OrthoTraining’s researchers plan to develop a surgical training tool based on OrthoSim’s work.

“It will enhance training for students and it will mean that newly qualified surgeons will have better training and an enhanced skill set,” Lafuente says. “This will improve the medical services and quality of life of European citizens.”

OrthoSim was funded under the EU's eTEN programme for market validation and implementation.

Ahmed ElAmin | alfa
Further information:
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/89681

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht NASA CubeSat to test miniaturized weather satellite technology
10.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht New approach uses light instead of robots to assemble electronic components
08.11.2017 | The Optical Society

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>