Plenary keynotes

Dr. Edward H. Shortliffe is Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Senior Advisor for Health Solutions at Arizona State University. Previously he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Medical Informatics Association (2009-2012). He developed the clinical expert system known as MYCIN and went on to spearhead the formation and evolution of graduate degree programs in biomedical informatics at Stanford, Columbia, and Arizona State University. Dr. Shortliffe is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine) of the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. He received the ACM’s Grace Murray Hopper Award in 1976 and ACMI’s Morris F. Collen Award in 2006. Currently Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Biomedical Informatics and a well-known textbook on Biomedical Informatics (now in its fourth edition). Read more ...
Lecture: Clinical Decision Support Systems: Their evolution and role in delivering evidence and advice for practitioners
Author: E.H. Shortliffe
Abstract: The history of decision-support systems in clinical medicine dates to the 1950s, when the first articles appeared that analyzed the relevance of formal probabilistic analysis to medical diagnosis and the potential role of computers to assist with the relevant calculations. In this talk, Dr. Shortliffe will trace the evolution of the discipline, explaining the notion of expert systems and the more recent emphasis on “infobuttons”, alerts, warnings, and clinical guidelines. The long-sought development of well-integrated patient-specific decision support, focusing on diagnosis or complex disease management, still remains to be achieved, but with the increased implementation of electronic health records in clinical settings, that situation is likely to change. Furthermore, the goals have taken on new complexity and urgency with the recent emphasis on personalized (precision) medicine, big data, and the role of data science as a source of new knowledge as well as a stimulus to bringing that knowledge to clinical care settings.

Dr. Ralph Müller is currently a Professor of Biomechanics at the Department of Health Sciences and Technology and heads the Laboratory for Bone Biomechanics at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. He was involved in the development of a compact desktop micro-tomographic imaging system that has been commercialized and is now marketed worldwide. The research he has completed and is currently pursuing employs state-of-the-art biomechanical testing and simulation techniques as well as novel bioimaging and visualization strategies for musculoskeletal tissues. His approaches are now often used for precise phenotypic characterization of tissue response in mammalian genetics, mechanobiology as well as tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. A prolific and highly cited author, Dr. Müller has received numerous awards and in 2015 was elected to the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW) and as a Fellow of the European Alliance for Medical and Biological Engineering and Science (EAMBES). Read more ...
Lecture: Advanced imaging and multi-scale modeling in skeletal systems mechanobiology and personalized medicine
Author: R. Müller
Abstract: Cyclic mechanical loading is perhaps the most important physiological factor regulating bone mass and shape in a way which balances optimal strength with minimal weight. This bone adaptation process spans multiple length and time scales. Vibrational forces resulting from physiological exercise at the organ scale are sensed at the cellular scale by osteocytes residing deep inside the bone matrix. Via biochemical pathways, these cells orchestrate local bone remodeling processes to strengthen bone globally at the organ scale. Progress has been made to identify and quantify both cause and effect across the different scales using advanced imaging approaches. Computational models have been developed to piece together various experimental observations at the different scales. However, such a systems biology approach demands the development of high-throughput methods capable of yielding spatiotemporal information at single cell resolution. As part of the lecture, advanced imaging and modeling techniques will be presented and how these techniques might be used in a systems mechanobiology approach to further our understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing load induced bone adaptation. In the future, such model will help to better understand skeletal mechanobiology in humans to better plan personalized medical treatment in individual patients.

Dr. Damien Lacroix is Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield and is Director of Research at the Insigneo Institute for in silico Medicine. His main expertise is on the computational modelling of mechanobiological processes at cell, tissue and organ interfaces. Lacroix has received around £7M in the last 5 years in European and EPSRC funding. He coordinated the only world-wide multi scale patient specific mechanobiological project focused on the lumbar spine (MySpine). He is also the recipient of a European Research Council (ERC) on multi-scale simulations on bone tissue engineering. He is the PI of an ESPRC Frontier Engineering Award on the Individualised Multi-scale Simulation of the Musculoskeletal System. As past-President of the European Society of Biomechanics (2010- 2012), Lacroix is a leading figure in biomedical engineering.
Lecture: Multiscale modelling of the musculoskeletal system
Author: D. Lacroix
Abstract: Engineering problems are increasing in complexity due to the need to account for (1) multiphysics behaviour where different physical processes are interacting among each other and (2) the inability to describe completely a process at a single space-time scale only and therefore the need to account for interactions among space and time scales. In addition, it is not always possible to measure properties at all those space and time scales so although there is a need to go across scales to solve grand challenges, there is also a need to be able to deal with missing data. Life science is a good example where uncertainty is present everywhere and where deterministic methods are becoming more and more limited. Therefore, there is a need to develop methodologies that include uncertainty. Such challenges are becoming relatively common in many different engineering sectors and therefore the topic of this research is timely.
The use of computer simulations for the development of medical devices or for their use as a pre-clinical tool is novel and the subject of research of a MultiSim EPSRC Frontier Engineering Award awarded the University of Sheffield. MultiSim aims to develop computational models that can simulate musculoskeletal pathologies across scales and under the assumptions that there might be missing or uncertain data or conditions. The ambition of the grant is to show for the first time how the development of new computational tools that integrate multi-scale modelling, unobservable states and variable, and uncertainty can be used in a clinically relevant context for the better understanding or the personalised treatment of some musculoskeletal diseases. In this presentation, an example of the multi-scale approach developed in the lower limb for the prediction of femoral head bone fracture in a patient-specific manner will be described. The conceptual workflow to perform multi-scale simulations will be introduced.

Dr. Christian Hellmich is Full Professor for Strength of Materials and Computational Mechanics in the Department of Civil Engineering at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien). Dr. Hellmich has served as the Chairman of both the Properties of Materials Committee of the Engineering Mechanics Division of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Poromechanics Committee of the Engineering Mechanics Institute (EMI), as associate editor of the Journal of Engineering Mechanics (ASCE) and as co-editor in Chief of the Journal of Nanomechanics and Micromechanics (ASCE). He received one of the highly prestigious ERC Grants of the European Research Council in 2010. As community service, he has (co-)chaired and/or supported more than 50 international conferences and he has reviewed for more than 120 different scientific journals and 14 science foundations. Read more ...
Lecture: Layered water in bone as key for its strength, creep, permeability, and mechanosensitivity
Author: C. Hellmich
Abstract: Water is a polarized fluid, forming "ice-like" layers ("liquid crystals") in the neighborhood of electrically charged surfaces. Only recently, our laboratory was successful in elucidating and quantifying their effect beyond the molecular scale, all the way through the hierarchical organization of bone. The talk will highlight corresponding recent discoveries: (i) mineral crystals irreversibly glide along thin water films, leading to elastoplastic behavior at all higher organization levels, such as the polycrystalline extrafibrillar space, the extracellular and extravascular bone matrices, and finally the macroscopic bone tissue; (ii) the interfacial viscosity of these films trigger bone viscoelasticity; (iii) layered water viscosity governs the Poisseuille flow in the vascular pores, dictating the permeability properties at the macroscopic scale; and (iv) viscous fluid is trapped in the lacunar pore space, giving rise to hydrostatic pressures optimally stimulating osteocytes.

Dr. Hans Van Oosterwyck is a Professor and the Chair of the Biomechanics section (Mechanical Engineering Department) at KU Leuven, where he is heading the Mechanobiology and Tissue Engineering research group. In 2012 he was awarded an ERC Starting Grant on the role of cell-matrix interaction in angiogenesis (‘MAtrix: In silico and in vitro Models of Angiogenesis: unraveling the role of the extracellular matrix’). His research focuses on the development of quantitative tools for unraveling the role of the microenvironment for cell fate, in particular the development of multiscale computational models for studying the importance of mechanics and mass transport for angiogenesis and bone regeneration. Hans Van Oosterwyck has been a Council Member of the European Society of Biomechanics (ESB) since 2006. He has been the President of the ESB between 2012-2014. Read more ...
Lecture: Computational modelling and quantitative imaging for probing the cell’s microenvironment
Author: H.V. Oosterwyck
Abstract: Local microenvironmental factors are key regulators of cell fate, which must be taken into account for the development of regenerative therapies. In my lecture I will present a number of quantitative tools to provide insight in the relation between local chemical or physical factors and cell behaviour, in particular on the role of mass transport and cell-matrix mechanical interactions in the context of bone regeneration and angiogenesis respectively. Methodologies cover the use of computational models (reaction-diffusion models for addressing mass transport limitations in 3D cell culturing; hybrid, multiscale models of bone regeneration; meshless, particle-based cell and matrix mechanical models) and quantitative optical microscopy for measuring molecular transport, structural and mechanical properties of hydrogels as well as cellular forces in 3D contexts.

Dr. Oliver Röhrle is Professor for “Continuum Biomechanics and Mechanobiology” at the Cluster of Excellence for Simulation Technology (SimTech) at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, and leads the ATTRACT “Virtual Orthopedic Lab” at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (Fraunhofer IPA) in Stuttgart. In 2011, he received the Richard von Mises prize of the GAMM (Society of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics) and in 2012, he was awarded an ERC Starting Grant on „LEAD – Lower Extremity Amputee Dynamics”. His research focuses on various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, e.g., on novel chemo-electromechanical skeletal muscle models, biophysical recruitment models, virtual EMG predictions, continuum mechanical homogenisation techniques for skeletal muscle tissues and forward-dynamics simulations of multi-muscle systems using three-dimensional continuum-mechanical skeletal muscle models. Moreover, he is interested in dental applications. Read more ...
Lecture: The virtual skeletal muscle – from the cell to the system
Author: O. Röhrle
Abstract: The simplest tasks in our daily life require a controlled coordination of multiple muscles within a system, i.e., our entire musculoskeletal system. One way of improving our basic understanding of how muscles are recruited are electromyographic (EMG) recordings. However, solely using EMG recordings, either collected by means of a (few) single surface or needle electrodes or by means of high-density EMG arrays, it is hard to verify the outcome of methods aiming to analyse musculoskeletal function and dysfunction. In this field, simulations can provide significant advantages and additional verification. Such simulations, however, need to be based on detailed skeletal muscle models spanning from the cellular level, e.g. the sarcomere, to the whole muscle and, eventually, even to the entire musculoskeletal system. Within this talk, we will address the modelling and computational challenges of developing a multi-scale skeletal muscle model, its extension to the musculoskeletal systems, as well as its potential applications.

Dr. Marie Oshima is a joint Professor in Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies and Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo. She currently is the president of JSME (Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers) in 2017. She received a Ph.D in Engineering from the University of Tokyo. She also worked at Stanford University as a visiting scholar from 1995 to 1996, and was a joint associate professor at Tsukuba University and IIS from 1999 to 2000. Her main research focuses on computational hemodynamics, particularly medical-image based modeling and blood flow simulation for cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and cerebral aneurysms. She has been also working on flow visualization and measurements using micro PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry) technique for blood flow related problems.
Lecture: Multi-scale simulation of cerebral blood flow for predictive medicine
Author: M. Oshima
Abstract: Stroke is one of the main causes of death in Japan, and it is strongly associated with carotid stenosis. If the stenosis becomes highly severe, a surgery such as carotid artery stenting (CAS) or carotid endarterectomy (CAE) is performed to prevent fatal situations. However, the surgery sometimes causes postoperative complications such as cerebral hyperperfusion syndrome (CHS). Thus, it is important for appropriate surgical planning to obtain information on changes in distributions of cerebral blood flow and pressures associated with the surgery. Since the surgery affects hemodynamics not only in a localized stenotic region but also the entire circulatory system, it is necessary to develop a multi-scale simulation system to examine the hemodynamics locally as well as globally in the circulatory system. In addition, the simulation needs to be performed in a reasonable CPU time for the surgical case study. Thus, the simulation method has been developed based on the one dimensional–zero dimensional (1D-0D) model combined with the patient-specific data. The present simulation system was applied to investigate the blood flow in the Circle of Wills. The uncertainties of medical image data are quantified and the results of pre- and post-operation were compared to examine the effects of the surgery.