@neurIST’s partners include leading universities, hospital clinics, research institutes and international companies, as well as several smaller companies. The project began January 1, 2006 and will continue for four years, with a total expected investment of more than 17M Euros (approximately 20 million U.S. dollars).
ANSYS’ role in @neurIST is to analyze medical scan data and develop simulation models that help researchers and doctors identify the various types of cerebral aneurysms and subarachnoid haemorrhages, analyze current and experimental treatment methods and suggest optimal placement of treatment devices. Current treatment methods include inserting coils or stents into the affected blood vessel to encourage blood clotting, which keeps the aneurysm from rupturing. Information gleaned from the ANSYS analyses is expected to assist @neurIST project members and biomedical device developers, who are working to improve upon current treatment methods and protocols.
“ANSYS has long served the biomedical industry with superior technology, giving customers an advantage in designing medical equipment such as heart pumps, heart valves and stents, as well as developing fundamental understanding of blood flows, fluid structure interaction and processes such as blood-clotting,” said Chris Reid, vice president and general manager at ANSYS, Inc. “Our partnership with @neurIST will allow us to develop further expertise and contribute to innovative technologies and prototype designs that will be valuable in setting new standards for the biomedical industry.”
Throughout its history, ANSYS has had a number of opportunities to participate in collaborative projects, which bring together complementary skills and knowledge that can be leveraged to obtain the best possible results.
“Our experience with collaborative projects — in various fields, including medical — has shown that combining efforts has enabled us to achieve much more than any one of us could have done on our own. This particular collaborative approach will allow results to be utilized quickly, not just for the treatment of cerebral aneurysms but also in other fields where similar technology is required,” said Ian Jones, head of technical services at ANSYS Europe.
The @neurIST project was undertaken to help reduce the morbidity and mortality of patients who experience aneurysms. Of those who experience a rupture of their cerebral aneurysms, a third die and another third suffer impairment.
“The personal effect of aneurysm rupture is devastating. The aim of @neurIST is to transform the management of the condition by providing new insight, personalized risk assessment and methods for the design of improved medical devices and treatment protocols. Personalized risk assessment alone could reduce unnecessary treatment by 50 percent or more, with concomitant savings estimated in the order of thousands of millions of Euros per annum. Furthermore, the approach will be extendable to other disease processes and scalable to federate a large number of clinical centers and public databases,” said Alejandro Frangi of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), which is coordinating the @neurIST project.
@neurIST (pronounced an-your-ist) is an integrated project in the sixth framework programme of the European Commission (EC) and seeks to provide channels for the integration of all data sources on cerebral aneurysm. It has three work packages dedicated respectively to the collection, processing and integration of these data. It has one work package dedicated to the development of four integrated exploitation suites of software for clinical and industrial use. Two platforms will be developed that will exploit directly the IT infrastructure and will provide immediate application to other disease processes. Work packages dedicated to management, dissemination and exploitation planning complete the project structure. The primary theme of @neurIST is to develop vertical integration across data structures and across length scales, but horizontal integration at every level of abstraction, from access to information sources, to complex information processing, knowledge representation, structuring and fusion will cement the collaboration between the disciplines.
About UNIVERSITAT POMPEU FABRA
Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) is a young but rapidly expanding public university, having earned a strong reputation in its ten years of existence, some of their degrees being the highest in demand in Catalonia. From its beginnings, this academic institution has set itself two main objectives: to train professionals and citizens who are responsible and committed to civic values and to contribute toward the development of research. It strives to achieve maximum quality in teaching and research, to which end it encourages full-time commitment to study and research activity. The UPF carries out research on the use of new information technologies in health and life sciences, including software design development and assessment, as well as collaborations with other professionals for the application of such technologies in areas of scientific and social interest. The UPF belongs to a network composed by technology centers and university groups, which certifies the quality of services offered by its members to the industry.
The UPF has grown to become the UPF Group. Its presence in the European research scenario dates back to its foundation and it has a broad experience in managing EC research projects, as coordinator of three research projects under the Fifth Framework Programme and one Integrated Project under the Sixth Framework Programme. It also contributes as a partner in nineteen research projects of the Sixth Framework Programme (8 Integrated Projects, 5 Networks of Excellence, 2 STREPs, and 1 Specific Support Action).