Skip to navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Approved research

Statistical models of the shape, distribution and quantity of the tissues (adipose, muscle, bone) and it's relations to the outer shape of the body and body composition.

Principal Investigator: Dr Sergi Pujades
Approved Research ID: 51951
Approval date: August 30th 2019

Lay summary

Knowing the distribution of adipose, muscle, and bone tissue in the human body anatomy is crucial in the diagnosis of diseases such as type II diabetes, the planning of therapies, the guidance of the therapeutic gestures and the assessment of a therapy's outcome. Our current knowledge of the adipose, muscle, and bone tissues is based on the internal imaging of in-vivo patients. Examples of these imaging techniques are Computed Tomography (CT), Dual Energy X-Ray Absorption (DXA) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). While these modalities allow accurate measurements of the inside of the body, they involve heavy and expensive equipment as well as time consuming procedures. Impedance-based body composition scales such as Tanita TM provide a fairly accurate estimation of the body composition (+-5% of DXA estimations), with a relatively inexpensive (6K euros) and fast procedure (20 seconds). While this modality provides an aggregate measure of the body composition, it cannot capture the locality of the tissues distribution. The project objective is to obtain a subject-specific anatomic model with an accurate distribution of adipose, muscle, and bone tissue from the external shape and body composition. External measurements can be acquired with optical scanning equipment, e.g. cameras or depth sensors. These are becoming cheaper and of higher spatial resolution, allowing accurate scanning of living bodies. While optically based imaging techniques provide accurate reconstructions of the surface shape, they only capture the shape and appearance of the human surface. The scientific rationale starts with the registration of the cohorts. MRIs and DXA images of different subjects will be registered. This will allow the statistical analysis of the segmented quantities and distributions of the different tissues (bone, muscle, adipose tissue) The outer shape of the subjects will be obtained by segmenting the skin of the MRI knee-to-neck images. The body composition from DXA will be used. The project duration is estimated to 36 months. This study could lead for instance to assist medical professionals to diagnose Muscle Atrophy at an early stage, help in the assessment of a therapy outcome, or in the quantification of a specific sports training plan.