Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

University Computer Cluster To Help Heart Health And Cancer Patients

18.06.2004


A new computer cluster funded by the University of Sheffield and located within the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, will help scientists to improve their understanding of how human cells and organs work. This will ultimately lead to more effective ways of treating cardiovascular disease and cancer as well as other diseases. It will also eventually allow doctors to tailor treatment in a way specific to that patient rather than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.



Two of the current uses for the computer are the development of new technologies to increase the effectiveness of drug delivery and improving the accuracy of radiotherapy treatment. On a more fundamental level the computer is being used to establish how cells interact and ‘self-assemble’ to become a particular tissue or organ. This second study will have an impact on our understanding of a variety of organ functions as well as improving our understanding of the behaviour of cancers, cell turnover and wound repair.

Professor Rod Smallwood, who was instrumental in obtaining funding for the Cluster and is running the project on human cell assembly, explains why the new system is important. “The power of the computer cluster will allow us to use real patient data to produce advanced computational models that can test a variety of hypotheses, without the need to perform difficult and expensive experiments in the laboratory. Predictive models can be developed at all levels from gene expression to organ function”


“For example, we can tell the computer the exact biological conditions present when a cell becomes malignant. We can then produce a model of this situation, so that we can see what would happen if one the conditions was altered, and whether that would prevent the malignancy from occurring. Basing the computer inside the Hospital allows us to use these techniques on patient data without compromising the security of that data”

Drs. Rodney Hose and Pat Lawford, of the University’s Medical Physics group, are using the cluster to create models that simulate the cardiovascular system. Using data from medical images, the specific anatomy of an individual patient can be modelled. Dr Hose explains, “Computational tools, developed together with other academic partners and industry under the European funded research initiatives ‘Simbio’, ‘Bloodsim’ and ‘GEMSS’, allow us to examine the cardiovascular system in detail and investigate how the shape of the heart and blood vessels and the speed of blood flow influence disease. These models will help us to design improved medical devices and to predict how the patient could respond to treatment.”

Dr John Fenner, also of the University’s Medical Physics group, is working with NHS colleagues in the Radiosurgery Department to investigate the way the Cluster can be used to improve the accuracy of radiotherapy treatment by using advanced computational models to model the way gamma rays interact with tissue. This joint Trust/University project has European funding and is part of a drive to identify uses for high performance computers in routine clinical practice as well as medical research.

Professor David Barber, Scientific Director of the Sheffield Teaching Hospital’s Department of Medical Imaging and Medical Physics, said, “The cluster will allow us, working with our academic colleagues, to develop new cost effective ways of treating and managing disease. It demonstrates very well the benefits of NHS and University staff working as partners on research and development projects. By bringing together fundamental ideas and practical concerns we can improve provision of health care to patients.”

Lorna Branton | alfa
Further information:
http://www.shef.ac.uk/mediacentre/2004/216.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht When added to gene therapy, plant-based compound may enable faster, more effective treatments
18.10.2019 | Scripps Research Institute

nachricht Diabetes: A next-generation therapy soon available?
17.10.2019 | Université de Genève

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Solving the mystery of quantum light in thin layers

A very special kind of light is emitted by tungsten diselenide layers. The reason for this has been unclear. Now an explanation has been found at TU Wien (Vienna)

It is an exotic phenomenon that nobody was able to explain for years: when energy is supplied to a thin layer of the material tungsten diselenide, it begins to...

Im Focus: An ultrafast glimpse of the photochemistry of the atmosphere

Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols.

The nanocosmos is constantly in motion. All natural processes are ultimately determined by the interplay between radiation and matter. Light strikes particles...

Im Focus: Shaping nanoparticles for improved quantum information technology

Particles that are mere nanometers in size are at the forefront of scientific research today. They come in many different shapes: rods, spheres, cubes, vesicles, S-shaped worms and even donut-like rings. What makes them worthy of scientific study is that, being so tiny, they exhibit quantum mechanical properties not possible with larger objects.

Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE's Argonne National...

Im Focus: Novel Material for Shipbuilding

A new research project at the TH Mittelhessen focusses on the development of a novel light weight design concept for leisure boats and yachts. Professor Stephan Marzi from the THM Institute of Mechanics and Materials collaborates with Krake Catamarane, which is a shipyard located in Apolda, Thuringia.

The project is set up in an international cooperation with Professor Anders Biel from Karlstad University in Sweden and the Swedish company Lamera from...

Im Focus: Controlling superconducting regions within an exotic metal

Superconductivity has fascinated scientists for many years since it offers the potential to revolutionize current technologies. Materials only become superconductors - meaning that electrons can travel in them with no resistance - at very low temperatures. These days, this unique zero resistance superconductivity is commonly found in a number of technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Future technologies, however, will harness the total synchrony of electronic behavior in superconductors - a property called the phase. There is currently a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Symposium on Functional Materials for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

02.10.2019 | Event News

NEXUS 2020: Relationships Between Architecture and Mathematics

02.10.2019 | Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Energy Flow in the Nano Range

18.10.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

MR-compatible Ultrasound System for the Therapeutic Application of Ultrasound

18.10.2019 | Medical Engineering

Double layer of graphene helps to control spin currents

18.10.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>