Development the first patient specific open access web database of damaged chondral cartilage

In the frame of the EU project RESTORE, Reykjavik University is developing 1ST European database of chondral lesions morphometric and associated 3D models. Thanks to its partnership with the University Hospital Landspitali, the scan acquisition of patient’s knee started in March 2019. It will be soon available for public consultation through a web application. This database contains various data of knee cartilages from patients suffering of degenerative and traumatic chondral lesions, based on Magnetic resonance (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT) images. A specific work process was established to identify bone tissues, isolating tibia, fibula, patella and femur from CT scan data. Meanwhile, MRI was used to visualize and segment cartilage tissues. Using high performing medical imaging software (Materialise, MIMICS) these data were processed in order to separate the different sections of the knee cartilage. CT and MRI acquisitions were taken positioning the patient knee in the same way therefore an accurate registration between the datasets was possible. The goal of the registration is to visualise in the same dataset bones and cartilage. Figure 1 shows reference points for the registration.

Figure1 – Image registration (on the left : CT scan – on the right : MRI. The red dots are the reference used to combine the two sets of images in a unique one)

From this final dataset are extrapolated all the information needed to feed the database: femoral, tibia and patellar cartilage thickness was measured in standardised regions of interest (Figure 2).

Figure 2 – Segmentation of the Knee bones and cartilages

The radiodensity distribution of both bones and cartilage for each patient is plot and shown in the database webpage. From the latter,it will be possible to download 3D models(.STL FORMAT) of bones and cartilage. This database feature will allow tissue engineering scientists to design and bioprint patient-specific synthetic cartilage. Finally figure 3 shows three screenshots of the Beta version of the web database: homepage, the full list of the patients, and the top section of the personal page of a single patient.

Figure 3 – Screenshot of the database, homepage, the full list of the patients, and the top section of the personal page of a single patient.

By Romain Aubonnet, Marco Recenti, Paolo Gargiulo, Medical Technology center, Reykjavik University and Landspitali, University Hospital of Iceland.