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GAP Project

Our Vision

GAP organizes its activities through four research and training WPs (WP2-WP5), which are inserted in a frame made of management (WP1 and WP6), dissemination (WP7) and constant cross-relationships with end-users.

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WP2: BONE DAMAGE,
a multi-scale approach

The WP2 is entirely devoted to bone multi-scale analysis: we identify that the current knowledge gaps in the comprehension of how damage starts and propagates at different length scales should be overcome through a multi-scale mechanical and biological characterization. The possibility to provide insights on physio-pathological bone architecture by means of high-resolution imaging techniques and to perform mechanical tests during imaging is the designed pathway to follow damage evolution in all its stages. Additionally, the broad spectrum of healthy and pathological samples is a unique opportunity to shed some light on nano- and micro-architectural alterations that are still underestimated consequences of bone pathologies.

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WP3: Numerical models for FRACTURE PREDICTION

The WP3 aims at implementing multi-scale computational models able to define damage criteria able to describe both damage initiation and propagation. These numerical models have a dual aim: to identify regions that are prone to failure and to isolate the effect of bone architectural features in fracture progression. The disruptive potentiality of these findings relies on the possibility to precisely validate them by means of the experimental tests and imaging obtained in WP2.

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WP4: from the research to the clinics AI applications for multi-scale fracture detection

The WP4 completely focuses on the translation of numerical and experimental observations, especially the ones performed at the micro-scale, to the clinical practice, via the exploitation of advanced topological and AI-based strategies. Indeed, WP4 perspective is to obtain a micro-scale fragility index, that could be useful from two sides: correlation with currently used clinical indices (i.e. osteoclast activity extrapolated from histological observations, that is a measure of bone resorption on 2D planes) and exploitation of micro-scale analysis for the study of drug-related approaches.

WP5: Towards bone-inspired constructs for fracture healing

When fracture prevention is not achievable anymore and a macro-scale critical fracture has already occurred, WP5 comes into play. This WP5 is entirely devoted to the design, realization and testing of novel constructs, taking inspiration from bone micro-porosity as an optimal solution for graft cellularization. Innovative strategies to avoid the implant of prosthesis are explored: the goal is to provide custom-made solutions to treat bone loss keeping the anatomic shape and structure of the patient.

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