In the literature: February 2024 highlights

Click here to read some interesting recently published papers from our community. If you have published an article in the field of in silico medicine, send it to us: we will include it in this section of the newsletter!

Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology: A new method to design energy-conserving surrogate models for the coupled, nonlinear responses of intervertebral discs

Maria Hammer et al

Abstract

The aim of this study was to design physics-preserving and precise surrogate models of the nonlinear elastic behaviour of an intervertebral disc (IVD). Based on artificial force-displacement data sets from detailed finite element (FE) disc models, we used greedy kernel and polynomial approximations of second, third and fourth order to train surrogate models for the scalar force-torque -potential. Doing so, the resulting models of the elastic IVD responses ensured the conservation of mechanical energy through their structure. At the same time, they were capable of predicting disc forces in a physiological range of motion and for the coupling of all six degrees of freedom of an intervertebral joint. The performance of all surrogate models for a subject-specific disc geometry was evaluated both on training and test data obtained from uncoupled (one-dimensional), weakly coupled (two-dimensional), and random movement trajectories in the entire six-dimensional (6d) physiological displacement range, as well as on synthetic kinematic data. We observed highest precisions for the kernel surrogate followed by the fourth-order polynomial model. Both clearly outperformed the second-order polynomial model which is equivalent to the commonly used stiffness matrix in neuro-musculoskeletal simulations. Hence, the proposed model architectures have the potential to improve the accuracy and, therewith, validity of load predictions in neuro-musculoskeletal spine models.

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Bone: DXA-based statistical models of shape and intensity outperform aBMD hip fracture prediction: A retrospective study

Alessandra Aldieri et al

Abstract

Areal bone mineral density (aBMD) currently represents the clinical gold standard for hip fracture risk assessment. Nevertheless, it is characterised by a limited prediction accuracy, as about half of the people experiencing a fracture are not classified as at being at risk by aBMD. In the context of a progressively ageing population, the identification of accurate predictive tools would be pivotal to implement preventive actions. In this study, DXA-based statistical models of the proximal femur shape, intensity (i.e., density) and their combination were developed and employed to predict hip fracture on a retrospective cohort of post-menopausal women. Proximal femur shape and pixel-by-pixel aBMD values were extracted from DXA images and partial least square (PLS) algorithm adopted to extract corresponding modes and components. Subsequently, logistic regression models were built employing the first three shape, intensity and shape-intensity PLS components, and their ability to predict hip fracture tested according to a 10-fold cross-validation procedure. The area under the ROC curves (AUC) for the shape, intensity, and shape-intensity-based predictive models were 0.59 (95%CI 0.47-0.69), 0.80 (95%CI 0.70-0.90) and 0.83 (95%CI 0.73-0.90), with the first being significantly lower than the latter two. aBMD yielded an AUC of 0.72 (95%CI 0.59-0.82), found to be significantly lower than the shape-intensity-based predictive model. In conclusion, a methodology to assess hip fracture risk uniquely based on the clinically available imaging technique, DXA, is proposed. Our study results show that hip fracture risk prediction could be enhanced by taking advantage of the full set of information DXA contains.

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IEEE Trans Med Imaging.: Towards Enabling Cardiac Digital Twins of Myocardial Infarction Using Deep Computational Models for Inverse Inference

Lei Li et al

Abstract

Cardiac digital twins (CDTs) have the potential to offer individualized evaluation of cardiac function in a non-invasive manner, making them a promising approach for personalized diagnosis and treatment planning of myocardial infarction (MI). The inference of accurate myocardial tissue properties is crucial in creating a reliable CDT of MI. In this work, we investigate the feasibility of inferring myocardial tissue properties from the electrocardiogram (ECG) within a CDT platform. The platform integrates multi-modal data, such as cardiac MRI and ECG, to enhance the accuracy and reliability of the inferred tissue properties. We perform a sensitivity analysis based on computer simulations, systematically exploring the effects of infarct location, size, degree of transmurality, and electrical activity alteration on the simulated QRS complex of ECG, to establish the limits of the approach. We subsequently present a novel deep computational model, comprising a dual-branch variational autoencoder and an inference model, to infer infarct location and distribution from the simulated QRS. The proposed model achieves mean Dice scores of 0.457 Ā± 0.317 and 0.302 Ā± 0.273 for the inference of left ventricle scars and border zone, respectively. The sensitivity analysis enhances our understanding of the complex relationship between infarct characteristics and electrophysiological features. The in silico experimental results show that the model can effectively capture the relationship for the inverse inference, with promising potential for clinical application in the future. The code will be released publicly once the manuscript is accepted for publication.

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Journal of Biomechanics: Assessment of a fully-parametric thoraco-lumbar spine model generator with articulated ribcage

Emilia Bellina et al

Abstract

The present paper describes a novel user-friendly fully-parametric thoraco-lumbar spine CAD model generator including the ribcage, based on 22 independent parameters (1 posterior vertebral body height per vertebra + 4 sagittal alignment parameters, namely pelvic incidence, sacral slope, L1-L5 lumbar lordosis, and T1-T12 thoracic kyphosis). Reliable third-order polynomial regression equations were implemented in Solidworks to analytically calculate 56 morphological dependent parameters and to automatically generate the spine CAD model based on primitive geometrical features. A standard spine CAD model, representing the case-study of an average healthy adult, was then created and positively assessed in terms of spinal anatomy, ribcage morphology, and sagittal profile. The immediate translation from CAD to FEM for relevant biomechanical analyses was successfully demonstrated, first, importing the CAD model into Abaqus, and then, iteratively calibrating the constitutive parameters of one lumbar and three thoracic FSUs, with particular interest on the hyperelastic material properties of the IVD, and the spinal and costo-vertebral ligaments. The credibility of the resulting lumbo-sacral and thoracic spine FEM with/without ribcage were assessed and validated throughout comparison with extensive in vitro and in vivo data both in terms of kinematics (range of motion) and dynamics (intradiscal pressure) either collected under pure bending moments and complex loading conditions (bending moments + axial compressive force).

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Frontiers in Digital Health: A framework towards digital twins for type 2 diabetes

Yue Zhang et al

Abstract

Introduction: A digital twin is a virtual representation of a patient's disease, facilitating real-time monitoring, analysis, and simulation. This enables the prediction of disease progression, optimization of care delivery, and improvement of outcomes.

Methods: Here, we introduce a digital twin framework for type 2 diabetes (T2D) that integrates machine learning with multiomic data, knowledge graphs, and mechanistic models. By analyzing a substantial multiomic and clinical dataset, we constructed predictive machine learning models to forecast disease progression. Furthermore, knowledge graphs were employed to elucidate and contextualize multiomicā€“disease relationships.

Results and discussion: Our findings not only reaffirm known targetable disease components but also spotlight novel ones, unveiled through this integrated approach. The versatile components presented in this study can be incorporated into a digital twin system, enhancing our grasp of diseases and propelling the advancement of precision medicine.

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Date: 27/02/2024 | Tag: | News: 1549 of 1573
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