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About 3DAH arrow Events arrow Workshop on 3D Physiological Human 2009
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Workshop on 3D Physiological Human 2009
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The workshop on 3D Physiological Human took place in Zermatt, Switzerland at Alex Hotel the November 29 - December 2, 2009. The event was organized by the 3D Anatomical Human project with the support of the EU projects Focus K3D and InterMedia, and the CUSO. The workshop attracted many researchers from all over the world who particularly enjoyed the venue. 

The workshop included 8 oral sessions, 1 tutorial , a Live demos session and 4 keynote talks . Invited speakers were:

  • Prof. David Hawkes [University College London - UK]

  • Prof. Dieter Fellner [Fraunhofer IGD - Germany]

  • Dr. Christof Hurschler [LBB, Hannover Medical School - Germany]

  • Dr. Nuria Oliver Ramirez [Telefónica R&D - Spain]

Additional information can be found on the Workshop website:  

Check out the gallery!

Keynote talks

4 Keynote talks were given by invited speakers.


"Active, patient-specific soft-tissue organ models that combine anatomy and deformation characteristics in image guided interventions" by Prof. David Hawkes [University College London - UK]

David Hawkes has over 30 years' experience in medical imaging, working in both hospital and academic environments. He graduated in Natural Sciences (Physics) from Oxford in 1974 and obtained his PhD in X-ray computed tomography in 1981. He has worked at Southampton General Hospital, Surrey University, the Royal Marsden Hospital, St. George's Hospital, London, and Guy's Hospital, KCL where he became Chairman of the Division of Imaging Sciences. He was Director of the EPSRC and MRC funded Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration on Medical Images and Signals (MIAS-IRC), an £8M six year programme, from 2003 to 2007. Since January 2005, he has been Director of the Centre for Medical Image Computing (CMIC) at University College London. He is co-Founder of IXICO Ltd. ( ) that provides imaging solutions to the pharmaceutical industry. His current research interests encompass image matching, data fusion, visualisation, shape representation, surface geometry and modelling tissue deformation promoting medical imaging as an accurate measurement tool and image guided interventions.

He is currently principal investigator of four EPSRC funded projects, one CRUK project and manager of three industrially sponsored projects. He has over 200 publications in medical imaging.


"THESEUS: MEDICO - Automated Organ Segmentation of Medical Images for the Development of a Semantic Search Engine" by Prof. Dieter Fellner [Fraunhofer IGD - Germany]

Since Oct 2006, Dieter Fellner is professor of computer science at TU Darmstadt, Germany, and director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research (IGD) at the same location. Previously he has held academic positions at the Graz University of Technology, Austria, the University of Technology in Braunschweig, Germany, the University of Bonn, Germany, the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, and the University of Denver, Colorado. He is still affiliated with the Graz University of Technology where he chairs the Institute of Computer Graphics and Knowledge Visualization he found.

Dieter Fellner's research activities over the last years covered algorithms and software architectures to integrate modeling and rendering, efficient rendering and visualization algorithms, generative and reconstructive modeling, virtual and augmented reality, graphical aspects of internet-based multimedia information systems and cultural heritage as well as digital libraries. In the latter field he has coordinated a strategic initiative funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) from 1997 till 2005. Among several other R&D activities he is currently coordinating a strategic initiative (DFG Leistungszentrum) addressing the challenges general documents pose on libraries and information repositories. These challenges fit well with his current main focus on Visual Computing, in the academic research context as well as within the applied R&D of Fraunhofer IGD.

Dieter Fellner is author of the German standard work on computer graphics (1988, 2nd ed. 1992) and together with A. Endres he has written a book on digital libraries (2000). In the areas of computer graphics and digital libraries Dieter Fellner is a member of the editorial boards of leading journals and a member of the program committees of many international conferences and workshops. He was also program co-chair of the Eurographics'97 and Eurographics'2003 conference. In 2008 and 2009 he was program co-chair and conference co-chair of the ACM SIGGRAPH Web3D conference. He is a member of EUROGRAPHICS, ACM, IEEE Computer Society and the Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI) where he serves as a member of the Board of Directors (erweiterter Vorstand) as well as the chairman of the Graphics Chapter (Fachbereich Graphische Datenverarbeitung). Furthermore, D. Fellner is an advisor for the German Research Foundation (as a member of DFG's AWBI) and the European Commission (as a member of ISTAG).


"Experimental and Numerical Simulation in the Context of Orthopaedic Therapies - Possibilities and challenges" by Dr. Christof Hurschler [LBB, Hannover Medical School - Germany]

Dr. Christof Hurschler was born in Mannheim Germany in 1962 and is director of LBB-MHH. He received his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of North Dakota and the University of South Carolina, respectively. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics with a Minor in Biology in 1997 at the University of Wisconsin, after having worked for several years in the Biomechanics Laboratory of the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery. The title of his dissertation was: "Collagen Matrix in Normal and Healing Ligaments: Microstructural Behavior, Biological Adaptation, and a Structural Mechanical Model." In 2005, Dr. Hurschler attained the title Privat-Dozent in Biomedical Technology and Biomechanics, and currently serves s as an assistant-professor at the Medical University of Hannover (Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, MHH).

He has contributed to over 70 peer-reviewed scientific publications and book-chapters. He has also received numerous poster and presentation awards with his co-authors, including the Van Rens Award for the best Presentation of the ESSKA in 2000, and the AGA-DONJOY-Award in 2004. Dr. Hurschler has been Laboratory and Research Director of the Orthopaedic Department of the MHH since 2001 and is co-speaker of the Network for Musculoskeletal-Research (MSB-Net) of the German Society for Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery (DGOOC). He is reviewer for numerous Journals, including the Journal of Biomechanics; Clinical Biomechanics; Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research; and The Annals of Biomedical Engineering.


"Urban Computing and Smart Cities: Opportunities and Challenges" by Dr. Nuria Oliver Ramirez [Telefónica R&D - Spain]

Dr. Nuria Oliver is currently the Scientific Director for the Multimedia and Data Mining & User Modeling Research Teams in Telefonica Research (Barcelona, Spain). She received the BSc (honors) and MSc degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the ETSIT at the Universidad Politecnica of Madrid (UPM), Spain, in 1992 and 1994 respectively. She received her PhD degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, in June 2000. From July 2000 until November 2007, she was a researcher at Microsoft Research in Redmond, WA. At the end of 2007, she returned to Spain to create and lead the Multimedia Scientific Team at Telefonica Research in Barcelona. Since March 2009, she is also the acting Scientific Director for the Data Mining & User Modeling Team in Telefonica Research.

Her research interests include mobile computing, multimedia data analysis, search and retrieval, smart environments, context awareness, statistical machine learning and data mining, artificial intelligence, health monitoring, social network analysis, computational social sciencies, and human computer interaction. She is currently working on the previous disciplines to build human-centric intelligent systems.

Nuria has written over 50 papers in international conferences, journals and book chapters. Her work has been widely recognized by the scientific community with over 2700 citations. Nuria has over 28 patent applications and granted patents. She is also in the program committee and a reviewer of the top conferences in her research areas (IJCAI, IUI, UMAP, ACM Multimedia, ICMI-MLMI, Interaccion, PervasiveHealth, MIR, LoCA, MMM, CVPR, Ubicomp, MobileHCI, ICCV, AAAI, etc...). She was program co-chair of IUI 2009 and of MIR 2010.




"Musculoskeletal simulation: from motion capture to muscular activity in lower limb models"

by Dr. Nicolas Pronost and Anders Sandholm [EPFL - Switzerland]

The tutorial illustrated the creation of simulation models for gait and motion analysis based on a series of tools such as OpenSim. The session was interactive as users were invited to download and install prior to the session some software.

[Tutorial Material] [Tutorial installation instructions]


Live Demos Sessions

A live demonstrations session was held in order to illustrate some of the supporting projects' activities. This session allowed researchers to directly exchanges ideas with the presenters. Moreover, these demos illustrated more in details some of the presented talks, offering additional insights on the projects research. As follows, each demonstration is shortly depicted.

Deformable Model-based Hip Joint Bones Segmentation

Presenter: Jérôme Schmid [MIRALab - University of Geneva, Switzerland]

 Segmentation is a very active field in medical image analysis and many challenges are still present. One of them is the fast segmentation of low resolution clinical images which present noise and artifacts. This demo will depict semi-automatic bone segmentation from medical datasets. Our approach is based on a formulation of the deformable models evolution. Meshes vertices are considered as lumped mass particles subjected to internal and external forces. External forces are based on image features while internal forces regularize the models' evolution. The demo shows how 4 bones (left/right femur and hip bone) are simultaneously segmented.

Interactive Collaborative Segmentation

Presenter: Niels Nijdam [MIRALab - University of Geneva, Switzerland]

 Image Image segmentation is the most common image manipulation tools that are used to define regions of interest (ROI) for communication among the users. The ability to collaboratively segment medical images introduces new opportunities, such as multiple experts segmenting the images concurrently, and for teaching and training purpose. This demo presents a prototype collaborative Teleradiology application that enables multiple users to concurrently segment the same image over a network. Our preliminary results suggest that such a system can improve communication and collaboration in telemedicine applications. The chosen segmentation approach is explained more in details in the other demo from the University of Geneva.

Ex vivo biomechanical testing of the knee joint

Presenter: Caroline Öhman [Laboratorio di Tecnologia Medica - Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Italy]

 ImageThe knee joint has been and is currently studied from a biomechanical viewpoint. The study of the joint degrees of freedom and of the forces/moments loading the joint is aimed at determining the function of a healthy or injured joint.

Ex vivo testing offers the chance to study deeply the knee joint biomechanics.

Using an experimental set-up, it is possible to replicate clinical experiments in order to determine the stiffness of the joint when intact and after rupture of ligaments. For example, clinically relevant measurements of stiffness, replicating either drawer tests or rotation, can be made.

Experimental ex vivo methods are being performed in our laboratory to determine the natural biomechanics of the knee, with two main outcomes: firstly, that of determining the biomechanical behaviour of healthy knees (which can then be used as a control to evaluate knee replacement devices, surgical repair, or the contribution of different components to physiological biomechanics); secondly, to provide data useful for development of knee joint models.


Studying Joints with MRI

Presenters: Bailiang Chen [University College London, UK]

 Joints play an important role in controlling the body’s locomotion. To achieve better understanding of how they function, it is critical to know the anatomical structures and their kinematics more accurately. In the 3D anatomical human project, UCL is responsible for establishing protocols to acquire static and dynamic MRI data with appropriate clinical protocols as the basis for the information extraction and modelling in the further successive steps of the project. In this demonstration, the various imaging protocols on clinical scanners will be shown that have been established and tuned for acquiring high resolution static MRI images of lower limb and dynamic MRI studies of knee motion. In addition, Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) of tibia and other bones and tissues is also been introduced to show a long-term aim of our research which is accessing the fine structure of such tissues. Innovative pulse sequences of musculoskeletal systems are presented and the concept of multi-scale imaging introduced. The demonstration shows the basic principles of MRI, as applied in particular to the domain of the image acquisitions required by the 3DAH project, and introduces new methods appropriate for the detailed analysis of the fine structure of tissues such as bone and cartilage in joints.

Extracting appearance information from medical images

Presenter: François Chung [Asclepios - INRIA, France]

Through small demos, methods to extract information from medical images are presented. A clustering of intensity profiles around a region of interest is performed on both synthetic and medical image. A spatial smoothing taking into account connectivity between profiles is depicted as well as the difficult task of pointwise correspondence, in our case by registering a current mesh onto a reference mesh. Finally, an appearance prior is presented and first results of its use for model based segmentation are shown.


Interactive finite element modeling of the knee joint

Presenter: Tobias Heimann [Asclepios - INRIA, France]

 ImageThis demo features an interactive 3D simulation of a subject-specific knee joint. Ligaments and menisci are modeled using anisotropic finite element models that realistically capture the specific tissue properties. The user can interactively apply forces to the simulation, e.g. to flex the knee. Strain levels of the modeled ligaments are continuously visualized throughout the simulation, which allows to judge if the imposed movement is within the physiological range. The demo is implemented using the open source framework SOFA for medical simulations (


Collaborative 3DAH: a framework for knowledge sharing

Presenters: Ioana Ciuciu and Han Kang [STARLab - Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium]

The 3DAH content management system is intended to provide a framework for knowledge management integration inside the 3DAH project for the purpose of knowledge sharing. This is a distributed and collaborative tool which collects different parts of knowledge from domain-experts (e.g. physicians, researchers) in the form of templates which can be submitted online. Templates provide elementary data to fill the ontology framework by interacting with STARLab’s DOGMA server. We demonstrate the annotation of anatomical data by means of an ontological approach. Following this approach, content is classified and structured in order to create links between data with the purpose of information retrieval.


Towards a 5 d.o.f. surfacic driven knee

Presenter: Cédric Schwartz [SMI - Aalborg University, Denmark]


In most musculoskeletal models of the lower limb, the knee joint is modeled as a simple hinge joint. This 1 d.o.f. model cannot reflect the real complexity of the knee motion and in particular the screw-home-mechanism (internal/external rotation) . Moreover a simple hinge joint usually leads to bone collisions.

The knee stability is realized thanks to active (muscles) and passive (ligaments, menisci, articular surface shapes) components. All of these tissues should be taken into account in order to develop an accurate model of the knee. We here present a first step to such a model where the relative position of the tibia and the femur is evaluate by the optimization of the coherence of the surfaces in contact. In practice, the model is driven by the flexion/extension angle of the leg, which can be easily and quite accurately obtained with MOCAP systems.

This model aimed to respond to the objective of the 3DAnatomicalHuman EU Marie Curie Research Training Network: « developing realistic functional three-dimensional models for the human musculoskeletal system, the methodology being demonstrated on the lower limb ». Moreover, this model based on local surfacic information of the joint may provide patient specific information. The presented model is developed in SMI at Aalborg University (Denmark) thanks to MRI acquisitions provided by UCL (UK) and segmented by INRIA (France).

To create and execute neuromuscular models and simulations

Presenters: Nicolas Pronost and Anders Sandholm [VRLab - EPFL, Switzerland]

This demo will present models and features that will be introduced during the tutorial on Sunday evening. Advanced methods on data setup will be proposed as well as visualization and analysis modules within OpenSim. You will have the opportunity to fully perform predefined simulations but also to discuss about your own.


A Bolder Vision for the Exploration of Medical Datasets

Presenter: José Antonio Iglesias Guitian [Visual Computing group - CRS4, Italy]


During real-time medical data exploration using volume rendering, it is often difficult to enhance a particular region of interest without losing context information. In the demo session, we will present a new illustrative technique for focusing on a user-driven region of interest while preserving context information [1]. Furthermore, we will show latest advances of integrate variation of these ideas in our light field workstation [2] supporting the rendering of massive volumetric datasets [3].

[1] Luo, Y., Iglesias Guitián, J.A., Gobbetti, E., Marton, F.: Context preserving focal probes for exploration of volumetric medical datasets. In: Second 3D Physiological Human Workshop. (November 2009)

[2] Agus, M., Gobbetti, E., Iglesias Guitián, J.A., Marton, F., Pintore, G.: Gpu accelerated direct volume rendering on an interactive light field display. Computer Graphics Forum 27(3) (2008) 231-240. Proc. Eurographics 2008.

[3] Gobbetti, E., Marton, F., Iglesias Guitián, J.A. : A single-pass GPU ray casting framework for interactive out-of-core rendering of massive volumetric datasets. The Visual Computer 24(7-9) (2008) 797-806 Proc. CGI 2008.


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