The growing health and economic burden of bone fractures, their intricate multiscale features and the existing knowledge gaps in the comprehension of micro-scale bone damage occurrence make fracture diagnosis a challenging issue. In this scenario, deep-learning and artificial intelligence embody the new frontier of healthcare system, by overcoming the subjectivity of clinicians in the analysis of medical images. However, the preliminary attempts in exploiting the power of machine learning algorithms such as neural networks are still limited to bone macro-scale, while there is an evident lack in their application to smaller scales, where damage starts nucleating. Currently, speculations at the micro-scale are only feasible with the aid of high-resolution imaging techniques, that are particularly time consuming in terms of output images analysis. In this context, this works aims at combining the visualization of the micro-crack propagation mechanism with the promising application of convolutional neural networks. The implemented artificial intelligence tool is based for the first time on a large number of human synchrotron images coming from healthy and osteoporotic femoral heads tested under micro-compression. The designed convolutional neural networks are able to automatically detect lacunae and micro-cracks at different compression levels with high accuracy levels; indeed, with the baseline setup, networks achieve more than 0.99 level of accuracy for both cracks and lacunae, and more than 0.87 of the meanIoU adopted as validation metric. This approach is particularly encouraging for the development of powerful recognition system to comprehend bone micro-damage initiation and propagation, paving the way to the application of machine learning studies to bone micromechanics. This could be additionally crucial for future patient specific micro-scale observations to be related to the clinical practice.

The synergy of synchrotron imaging and convolutional neural networks towards the detection of human micro-scale bone architecture and damage

Banfi, Giuseppe;
2023-01-01

Abstract

The growing health and economic burden of bone fractures, their intricate multiscale features and the existing knowledge gaps in the comprehension of micro-scale bone damage occurrence make fracture diagnosis a challenging issue. In this scenario, deep-learning and artificial intelligence embody the new frontier of healthcare system, by overcoming the subjectivity of clinicians in the analysis of medical images. However, the preliminary attempts in exploiting the power of machine learning algorithms such as neural networks are still limited to bone macro-scale, while there is an evident lack in their application to smaller scales, where damage starts nucleating. Currently, speculations at the micro-scale are only feasible with the aid of high-resolution imaging techniques, that are particularly time consuming in terms of output images analysis. In this context, this works aims at combining the visualization of the micro-crack propagation mechanism with the promising application of convolutional neural networks. The implemented artificial intelligence tool is based for the first time on a large number of human synchrotron images coming from healthy and osteoporotic femoral heads tested under micro-compression. The designed convolutional neural networks are able to automatically detect lacunae and micro-cracks at different compression levels with high accuracy levels; indeed, with the baseline setup, networks achieve more than 0.99 level of accuracy for both cracks and lacunae, and more than 0.87 of the meanIoU adopted as validation metric. This approach is particularly encouraging for the development of powerful recognition system to comprehend bone micro-damage initiation and propagation, paving the way to the application of machine learning studies to bone micromechanics. This could be additionally crucial for future patient specific micro-scale observations to be related to the clinical practice.
Accuracy
Convolutional neural networks
Lacunae
Micro-damage
Osteoporosis
Synchrotron
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11768/134735
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