From In Silico Trials to Bone Density Analysis: How Our Customers Use Simpleware Software for Cutting-Edge Research

Posted on 8 February 2024 by Jessica James


Our customers are carrying out innovative work with Simpleware software in multiple areas, including the emerging application of in silico clinical trials at the University of Bath, and in verifying methods for spatial mapping of humeral bone density at Arthrex GmbH. Both projects demonstrate how the use of 3D models in planning workflows can help with clinical decision-making by increasing the number of options available when evaluating patient data and testing out the effectiveness of different medical device designs and procedures.

In Silico Trial Investigating Personalized High-Tibial Osteotomy

3D HTO geometries created using Synopsys Simpleware software for designing a surgical guide in Ansys SpaceClaim

Example 3D geometries created using Synopsys Simpleware software for designing a surgical guide in ANSYS SpaceClaim software. (Image by Zaffagnini et al. / CC BY 4.0 / Resized from original).

This project by the University of Bath, the University of Oxford, the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, and Rice University, uses a novel in silico trial method to compare the mechanical safety of a personalized 3D printed high tibial osteotomy (HTO) device to an existing generic device. Simpleware software was used as part of this workflow to generate simulation-ready models from patient data and scans of generic devices for use as part of virtual testing of mechanical safety and risk factors. Results from this study have helped support ongoing clinical trials into the adoption of HTO for treating early knee osteoarthritis. 

According to Professor Richie Gill from the University of Bath, the in silico computational approach has benefits alongside traditional methods:

"The big difference is there isn't that guesswork which is happening at the time of surgery. I think more surgeons are interested in doing this type of joint-preserving surgery. You can do it at a sooner point in the disease progression than you can with a knee replacement, so we are hoping to make it more widely available."

Verifying 3D Computed Tomography Bone Density Measures

Segmentation and density measurements of clinical CT and µCT scans using Synopsys Simpleware

Global ROI segmentation and density measurements in clinical CT and µCT using Simpleware software.

Research at Arthrex GmbH is being conducted to better understand osteoporosis ahead of shoulder arthroplasty surgeries. Simpleware software was used to verify the preoperative measurement of the local cancellous bone mineral density (BMD) of the proximal humerus using CT data. This measurement method was verified through accuracy analysis of standard CT scans using µCT data, and through reliability analysis of an automated image processing script for density analysis. Simpleware software was able to confirm the spatial location of the bone densities, as well as the accurate extraction of bone density features from standard phantom-calibrated CT scans.

Daniel Ritter, Research Engineer at Arthrex GmbH, commented on the value of the project:

"We used Simpleware software in this work to verify automatically analyzed bone density data of the humeral bone with a 3D visualized reconstruction using standard CT and in- vitro µCT scans. This allowed us to verify the reproducibility of the spatial humeral mapping as well as the accuracy of the standard clinical scan, to use these variables in larger cohorts."

Any Questions?

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