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VPHOP showcased at Philips Research

by Martina Contin last modified 2009-05-26 11:36

The coordinator of the VPHOP project was invited in Aachen (DE) to give a presentation on multiscale modelling of the skeletal system to the staff of Philips Research. The conference was broadcasted to all Philips research sites around the world. The visit was also an opportunity to exchange experiences and ideas with colleagues and to learn more about VPHOP twin project Eu-Heart, which is applying the very same approach to cardiac pathologies.

Philips Research periodically organise thematic conferences for its research staff spread all over the world. The conference series, entitled “Health care & Wellness Colloquium” saw on April 7th, 2009 a lecture entitled “VPHOP: The skeleton of the Virtual Physiological Human”, given by Marco Viceconti, researcher at the Rizzoli Institute in Bologna, and coordinator of the VPHOP project; the full presentation is publicly available in PDF format. Viceconti gave an overview on the scope and vision of the VPHOP project, and presented the early results the Rizzoli institute achieved in the organ-level patient-specific modelling of the proximal femur, and its application to paediatric skeletal oncology monitoring.


The visit in Aachen was also an opportunity to collect detailed information on a Philips technology developed by Philips Research labs and which will play a key role in the VPHOP project: flat-panel x-ray detectors. This technology is being adapted, thanks to a close collaboration between a group in Philips Medical led by Niels Noordhoek and the team of Keita Ito at the Technical University of Eindhoven, to produce 3D images of bones with sufficient spatial resolution to detail the cancellous bone morphology; the expectation is to use these images to initialise tissue-level, patient-specific models, which will then be used to make second-level prognosis assessment. In addition, these data will provide the tissue morphology basis, for the cell-level simulation of metabolic processes that can predict the evolution of the osteoporotic disease over time, being developed by Ralph Müller’s group in ETH Zurich. Last, but not least, the XperCT data produced with the flat-panel technologies will also be used as a basis for the planning of preventive intervention in those patients at very high risk, through the simulation environment being developed by Stephen Ferguson and colleagues at the University of Bern.


Last, but not least, during the visit Marco Viceconti met Olivier Ecabert, one of the two coordinators of the Eu-Heart Integrated Project. Dr. Ecabert gave a short presentation on the project, and showcased some of the most recent advancements, especially in the area of automatic segmentation of the cardiac regions from medical images.
The visit was an opportunity to further consolidate the connections between the VPHOP project and one of the most important industrial research organisations of the world in the area of medical technology. During a working lunch with Philips Research management, Dr. Viceconti raised consensus on the strategic need for Europe to become system around the grand challenges of medical technology like the Virtual Physiological Human, integrating all industrial, academic and clinical skills, cutting across cultural and geographic barriers, and allowing radical innovation in medical technology.

Additional information:

  • Philips Research is one of the world's largest corporate research organizations. They develop new technologies and investigate potential growth areas for Philips. Founded in 1914, today it employs over 1,800 professionals of 50 nationalities, created over 130,000 patents (total R&D), with more than 1 patent is filed per scientist per year. Philips Research has laboratories in North America, Europe and Asia.