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The research project VPHOP on osteoporosis: a dream coming true

24 Febbraio 2012

Logo of the VPHOP projectThe research project VPHOP on osteoporosis has completed clinical recruitment.  Over 200 patients were examined following the new clinical and instrumental study. The next step is to analyze the data collected by VPHOP hypermodel technology, flagship of the project.  

Coordinated by Prof. Marco Viceconti, who until recently was Scientific Technical Director at the Rizzoli Institute Medical Technology Laboratory, the research consortium is consists of 21 European academic, clinical and industrial partners.
The Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, that offers excellence in orthopaedic healthcare has an excellent ward of Internal Medicine, was chosen as one of the 4 clinical partners participating in the program and together with the others has had an important role in recruiting patients.

The other three clinical partners are the University of Geneva, Charitè – the University of Medicine, Berlin – and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) Paris.

Patient recruitment was carried out under the expert clinical guidance of Prof. René Rizzoli director of the Bone Diseases Ward at the Rehabilitation and Geriatric Department of the Hospital of Geneva. Rizzoli explains “VPHOP technology of patient-specific models is developing a tailored and predictive line of action that should considerably improve accuracy in evaluating the risk of osteoporotic fractures by calculating metabolic, anatomic, biomechanical and neuromotor patient determinants”.

Apart from collecting basic clinical data, each clinical center involved in the project developed an innovative procedure to examine specific aspects of different types of modelling relevant to the project.

These procedures involve special technologies studied by the industrial partners such as Philips Medical System, Ansys and the company EOS. One of these is the EOS-QT which allows simultaneous acquisition of two full-body radiographic images with very low doses of radiation featuring a three-dimensional image of the skeletal bone geometry in load bearing. Following the studies performed within the VPHOP project, the research model was implemented with further measurements, including 3D skeletal bone density. The EOS-QT prototype will allow the densitometric three-dimensional mapping to be used within the VPHOP hypermodel.

Core of the project is the hypermodel technology developed by the informatics company SCS (Super Computing Solution), and on worldscale the various predictive models on regarding the body, organs and tissues developed by the various academic partners. Integration between the different modelling technologies will be completed within April 2012.

The VPHOP Project
The research project on osteoporosis VPHOP - OsteoPorotic Virtual Physiological Human - is part of the European framework “Virtual Physiological Human”. The project is co-funded by EU 7th Framework - Directorate General for Research.

Aim of VPHOP is to develop multiscale modelling technology based on conventional diagnostic imaging methods that make it possible, in a clinical setting, to predict bone strength for each patient, how this strength is likely to change over time, and the probability of overloading bones during daily life. With these three predictions, evaluation of the absolute risk of bone fracture will be much more accurate and precise.

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