Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Virtual Blood Flow

19.03.2014

A new computer technique can realistically simulate how medicine affects the liver

What happens when chemicals flow through the blood stream into the liver and react with the organ? What if parts of the liver are damaged and medicine cannot be properly metabolized?

A new computer simulation can now answer questions such as these in greater detail. Experts at the Fraunhofer Institute for Medical Image Computing MEVIS in Bremen were primary partners in developing a program to simulate realistic blood streams and metabolic processes. Their results are now being published in the PLOS Computational Biology scientific journal.

The liver performs many tasks in the body. It removes toxic matter from the blood, produces important proteins, and stores vitamins. Each hour, around 90 liters of blood flow through the human liver.

... more about:
»Biology »Flow »blood »diseases »liver »metabolic »technique

To provide a detailed simulation of how blood flows through and reacts with the liver, researchers start with a high-resolution 3D image of the organ. For the publication in PLOS Computational Biology, the experts used an image of a mouse liver produced with a CT scanner.

Based on this image data, they reconstructed the exact structure of the fine branches of the vessel system. The liver was then split into 50,000 small blocks, in contrast to most of today’s pharmacokinetic simulations, which simply treat the liver as a single ‘black box’. “Even a mouse liver is made up of millions of cells,” explains MEVIS researcher Ole Schwen.

“To keep computation time in check, we combine the procedure for the thousands of cells in each block.” To make sure the results are realistic, the experts rely on a large database of medical research that describes the metabolic characteristics of liver cells.

The results of the simulation show that blood flow and metabolic reactions can be tracked in detail on the computer screen. In one instance, a virtual contrast agent is injected. The computer monitor can be used to observe how quickly the contrast agent reaches the various sections of the liver and how it gradually decays.

However, the procedure, developed as part of the Virtual Liver Network with the Department for Experimental Molecular Imaging at the RWTH Aachen University and Bayer Technology Services in Leverkusen, can do even more. Simulation can also be performed to show areas of the liver with steatosis, a widespread illness also known as fatty liver disease.

After the simulation has begun, the steatotic sections of the liver can be observed to absorb lipophilic contrast agents more effectively than healthy tissue. The metabolic reactions of other medications can also be simulated for both healthy livers and those that are diseased or damaged, for instance, by a paracetamol overdose.

“Currently available computer models only consider the liver as a whole,” explains project leader Tobias Preusser. “Our technique is the first to simulate what actually happens inside the organ.” It has the potential to become a useful research tool for the pharmaceutical industry. How does a new medication affect a patient suffering from steatosis or other liver diseases?

Questions such as these can be answered with this new software simulation. Animal testing could be reduced as well. In the future, the technique could also be used in clinical practice. This could allow clinicians to estimate whether a specific liver medication should be applied for a specific patient.

Before this occurs, MEVIS experts are looking to develop their software further. The current publication in the PLOS Computational Biology journal is based on the CT scan of a mouse liver. “In principle, it is also possible to apply the simulation to a human liver” says Ole Schwen. “In addition, we are currently comparing our simulation with the results of experiments in order to determine whether this new technique can produce quantitatively correct results.”

Publication
Schwen LO, Krauss M, Niederalt C, Gremse F, Kiessling F, et al. (2014) Spatio-Temporal Simulation of First Pass Drug Perfusion in the Liver. PLoS Comput Biol 10(3): e1003499.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003499

The Fraunhofer Institute for Medical Image Computing MEVIS
Embedded in a worldwide network of clinical and academic partners, Fraunhofer MEVIS develops real-world software solutions for image-supported early detection, diagnosis, and therapy. Strong focus is placed on cancer as well as diseases of the circulatory system, brain, breast, liver, and lung. The goal is to detect diseases earlier and more reliably, tailor treatments to each individual, and make therapeutic success more measurable. In addition, the institute develops software systems for industrial partners to undertake image-based studies to determine the effectiveness of medicine and contrast agents. To reach its goals, Fraunhofer MEVIS works closely with medical technology and pharmaceutical companies, providing solutions for the entire chain of development from applied research to certified medical products. http://www.mevis.fraunhofer.de/en

The Virtual Liver Network
The Virtual Liver Network is composed of 70 work groups at 41 clinics and research institutes who aim to improve knowledge of liver function. The goal of the interdisciplinary project is to create a computer model that can simulate the liver and its processes as accurately as possible. All relevant scales are researched – from molecules and cells up to the complete liver. The model will be evaluated using laboratory experiments and clinical data. This should allow for well-grounded prognoses and create the basis for the development of new therapy and diagnosis procedures. The BMBF is funding the Virtual Liver Network with 43 million Euro for five years, beginning in April 2010. Fraunhofer MEVIS receives a yearly sum of €380,000.
http://www.virtual-liver.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.mevis.fraunhofer.de/en/news/press-release/article/virtueller-blutflus...

Bianka Hofmann | Fraunhofer-Institut

Further reports about: Biology Flow blood diseases liver metabolic technique

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure
24.05.2018 | Queen Mary University of London

nachricht XXL computed tomography: a new dimension in X-ray analysis
17.05.2018 | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>