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Patient-specific solution of the electrocorticography forward problem in deforming brain

Event Type
Mechanical Science and Engineering
wifi event
Mar 22, 2022   9:00 am  
Professor Karol Miller, Applied Mechanics, The University of Western Australia
Amy Rumsey
Originating Calendar
MechSE Seminars


When one types “epilepsy” in the Google window the statement “Treatment can help, but this condition can't be cured” appears. This is not true, as it is well known that precisely targeted surgery is a curative treatment. Why is then surgical treatment of epilepsy “arguably the most underutilised of all proven effective therapeutic interventions in the field of medicine”? The catch is in “precisely targeted” - clinicians are often unable to characterise epileptic activity of the brain and identify appropriate resection regions with sufficient accuracy to proceed with surgery.

In this seminar I will discuss work in progress (conducted in collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital) towards developing methods to precisely and reliably locate seizure onset zones (SOZ) and visualise them with respect to pre-operative brain anatomy in a system to improve intra-operative visualisation, navigation and monitoring. The approach consists of taking a pre-operative 3D MRI; implanting intracranial electrodes; taking a CT with electrodes implanted; registering pre-operative 3D MRI onto a CT with implanted electrodes; and finally solving inverse electric field propagation problem to identify SOZ.

From the computational science view point the problematic issues include:

  1. computing patient-specific brain deformations due to insertion of invasive electrodes,
  2. using these deformations to warp pre-operative MRIs so that they correspond to the brain with implanted electrodes,
  • creating a patient-specific distribution of anisotropic electrical conductivity based on diffusion tensor images,
  1. solving the (linear, but highly anisotropic and inhomogeneous) bio-electric potential distribution problem.

Methods for all the above should be compatible with clinical workflows and therefore software embedding these methods should be very robust so that it can be used by non-specialists in the clinic.

If you are interested in methodological details of this presentation, please read our preprint .


About the Speaker

Karol Miller is a Winthrop Professor of Applied Mechanics at The University of Western Australia and a Visiting Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School.

Karol was born and educated in Warsaw, Poland. He has MSc in aerospace engineering, PhD in robotics and DSc in biomechanics.

In 2002 Karol established the Intelligent Systems for Medicine Laboratory. ISML’s mission is to work towards improving clinical outcomes through development and appropriate use of technology. It runs exciting research projects funded by the Australian Research Council, the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia), the National Institute of Health (USA) and other national and international agencies. The overall objective of his research is to help creating methods and tools which will enable a new exciting era of personalised medicine. He is best known for his work on biomechanics of the brain. He is the world’s most cited researcher in this area.

Karol’s research and teaching have been recognised by multiple awards, including the Humboldt Research Award, NVIDIA GPU Computing Champion Award, the Simulation Industry Association Australia Award, the Sir Charles Julius Medal, the Polish Prime Minister Award, the UWA Faculty of Engineering Computing and Mathematics Teaching Award and the UWA Student Guild Choice Award.

Karol has been a member of National Health and Medical Research Council panel for medical technology (Investigator and Ideas grants), Australian Research Council College of Experts and Australian Research Council Medical Research Advisory Panel.

He is also the Editor of Modelling in Biology and Medicine and Associate Editor of International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering. Until 2020 he had served as Associate Editor of Annals of Biomedical Engineering.

Host:  Professor Iwona Jasiuk

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