IM2IM - A New ERCIM Working Group on Informatics and Mathematics applied to Interventional Medicine
by Marc Thiriet
On an initiative by scientists from INRIA and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, a new ERCIM Working Group has been established on Informatics and Mathematics applied to Interventional Medicine.
Nowadays, many medical operations are based upon minimal-invasive, safe and cheap procedures. High precision medicine with as little invasion as possible, are required to improve patient comfort and reduce hospitalisation costs. Interventional medicine consists in placing a small effective and reliable medical device inside any anatomical duct. As endoluminal operations tend to involve precise, complex and risky techniques, doctors yearn more and more for simulation tools with which to train themselves, plan operations and ensure detailed follow-up on the state of their patients.
The new operational techniques demand indeed the acquisition of new gestures. This is due in particular to the screen interface, which does not provide a direct, three-dimensional view. In a way somewhat similar to what flight simulators are to aircraft pilots, simulation tools are very much in demand by medical doctors; either to learn the gestures, plan them, train, operate or follow-up the post-operation evolution. However, one of the main difficulties in achieving a sufficiently realistic reproduction not only of the visual aspects, but also of the tactile aspects of the situation, is to correctly model the mechanical behaviour of the various involved organs and anatomical tissues. Overcoming these difficulties is an important challenge.
Applied mathematics and computer science are necessary tools in these advances in medical techniques. Image processing, computer graphics and virtual reality, modelling and simulation of the behaviour of biological tissues and robotics are all involved. The development of the computer-aided medical tool indeed requires several tasks:
- three-dimensional reconstruction of the vascular region of interest from medical imaging and computational mesh generation
- input data collection and control parameter selection
- numerical model coupling for interaction between the vessel wall, the owing blood and the medical device
- multiscale modeling to ensure suitable wave propagation and appropriate boundary conditions
- parallel computing to speed up the computational time for medical purpose
- numerical result processing and physical entity field visualisation
- error estimation and physics-based dynamical mesh adaptation
- virtual endoscopy with a navigation tool for endoluminal catheter displacement and device installation control
- augmented reality training simulator.
Current participants come from the ERCIM members INRIA, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft CWI, CNR, FORTH and SARIT, as well as from other institutions in Belgium, France, Greece, Italy and the UK. A kick-off workshop is planned in December this year.
Marc Thiriet, INRIA and Université Pierre
et Marie Curie
Tel: +33 1 39 63 59 16