Professor Lacroix’s plenary keynote on multiscale modelling of the musculoskeletal system

Plenary keynote at the International Conference on Computational Bioengineering: Multiscale modelling of the musculoskeletal system

Damien Lacroix is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering University of Sheffield’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and is the Director of Research at the Insigneo Institute for in silico Medicine. Damien will be presenting at  the International Conference on Computational Bioengineering. This conference is endorsed by the European Society of Biomechanics.

 Professor Lacroix’s main areas of expertise are computational modelling of mechanobiological processes at cell, tissue and organ interfaces. He has received around £7M in the last 5 years in European and EPSRC funding and 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.  Professor Lacroix is the Principal Ivestigator 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),  Prof. Lacroix is a leading figure in biomedical engineering.
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.