With the aim to treat severe injuries to the lower limbs individually and in an optimal manor - that means to take decisions technically supported and objective - the research project ”Individualized Implants and Prosthetics for the lower Extremities” (IIP-EXTREM) started on June 1, 2016. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) sponsors the project as part of the "Individual Medical Technologies" initiative.
One focus of IIP-EXTREM is the reconstruction of limbs using individual or standardized implants. Based on CT or MRI scans, the powerful simulation software helps to determine the optimal placement of the fractured bones for healing, support decisions about the appropriate implants for stabilization during the healing period, and finally, to prepare the designs for the required customized implants. When a severe injury leaves no choice other than amputation, simulation software can model an exact fitting and highly capable prosthesis from the CT or MRI scans. In a virtual fitting, the shaft is tested in different stress situations before it is produced. The implant or prosthesis shaft is then approved for manufacture in a modern additive metal production process.
DFKI's Department of Agents and Simulated Reality, managed by Prof. Philipp Slusallek, works with a team from the department of Mechanical Engineering at Saarland University to develop a highly efficient simulation environment for bio-mechanical systems. The system uses an arrangement of clinical CT data on a regular grid without explicit topology or matrix display to enable an extremely memory-efficient representation of the mechanical problem.
To solve the resulting finite-difference equation, DFKI applies algorithmic processes on the basis of state of the art, highly parallel graphic processor units (GPUs). In addition to the algorithmic effort, DFKI takes on the role of integration partner and creates the software prototypes that can map the entire process chain - from uploading the CT data sets to the simulation to the manufacture of the implants.
DFKI; Lehrstuhl für Orthopädie und Unfallchirurgie, Universität Witten/Herdecke (LUCH); Lehrstuhl Technische Mechanik, Universität des Saarlandes (LTM); Karl Leibinger Medizintechnik GmbH & Co. KG (KLM); Otto Bock HealthCare GmbH (OBHC)