DS0413 - Technologies pour la santé

Lattice Boltzmann Simulation from Medical Images – LBSMI

Submission summary

The LBSMI project aims at developing a workflow starting from medical images and resulting in patient-specific soft tissue simulations. Such workflow does not exist at this moment, because current numerical methods employed in biomechanics such as Finite Element Method need a geometrical model that has to be built from medical image data. Although medical imaging and image processing have greatly improved, it is too difficult, even today, to extract such geometrical models automatically. Meanwhile, a method is still missing that brings medical imaging and biomechanical simulation of soft tissue together in a single framework. LBSMI’s challenge is to unify soft tissue biomechanics and image processing in a comprehensive workflow for predicting tissue deformations under certain loading conditions without prior segmentation.
The workflow developed in LBSMI will be based on the Lattice Boltzmann Method, issued from statistical physics. The advantage of this method is the use of a regular lattice for solving mechanics equations, in contrast to the Finite Element Methods which uses deformable meshes. Therefore, the passage from medical images to the lattice is relatively straightforward. LBSMI will use the Multiple Relaxation Time Lattice Boltzmann Method, which permits complex simulations such as fluid structure interactions or non-linear constitutive laws modeling for soft tissue deformations assessment. Moreover, this method is intrinsically adapted to embed intercellular interactions rules because it deals with particles moving on a lattice, thus opening pathways to mechanobiology. The development of the Lattice Boltzmann Method for soft tissue will be a game changer regarding numerical simulation in biomechanics.
Two medical problems will be addressed through software development: (1) intracranial and aortic aneurysm rupture risk assessment, and (2) orthoses effectiveness assessment.
Aneurysm rupture occurs in part when deformations exceed tissue strength locally. In this pathology, speed of decision is a determinant parameter directly linked to patients’ lives, thus a fast automatic workflow taking patients’ data as input and proposing simulated scenarios about the evolution of pathologies will highly benefit medical doctors’ work.
The prescription of orthoses is based on their claimed effects. In this context, a workflow allowing the simulation of their degree of effectiveness on maintaining musculoskeletal structures and helping in the choice of a specific orthosis will be developed.
As specific software development is expected for these two applications, experiments using patients’ medical image databases from three European projects (Thrombus, AARTEMIS and BIOLOCHANICS) whose topics are intracranial and aorta aneurysms will be achieved and will lead to better understanding of the related pathologies.
LBSMI’s backbone is composed of engineers and medical doctors, all experts in their domains. On top of that, LBSMI will be carried out in the framework of three European projects, and the PI and his team will be in close collaboration with consortia that are linked to them.
LBSMI is disruptive by nature because it addresses the problem of numerical simulation of soft tissue from a completely new angle. This will open new pathways in applied research in soft tissue simulation. It will lead to the development of software solutions for predicting the evolution of diseases and simulating treatment effects, thus helping in the choice of treatments. This project will open opportunities for medical doctors to better exploit medical images and go far beyond simple visualization.

Project coordination

Laurent NAVARRO (Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint Etienne)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


EMSE Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint Etienne

Help of the ANR 208,464 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2015 - 48 Months

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