Shape and Size in Medicine, Biotechnology and Materials Science

ECMI SIG Shape and Size in Medicine, Biotechnology and Materials Science

Coordinators: Luis Bonilla (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid) and Jesus Angulo (Ecole des Mines de Paris)

Shape analysis deals with the geometrical information on objects that is left after location, scale and rotation effects are removed. If scale effects are not removed, then we are led to form (size and shape). In applications, bodies rarely have exactly the same shape within measurement error; hence randomness of shapes needs to be taken into account. Thanks to the development of information technologies, the last decade has seen a considerable growth of interest in the statistical theory of shape and its application to many and diverse scientific areas. Often the diagnosis of a pathology, or the description of a biological process mainly depend on the shapes present in images of cells, organs, biological systems, etc., and mathematical models which relate the main features of these shapes with the correct outcome of the diagnosis, or with the main kinetic parameters of a biological system are still not present. In materials science optimisation for quality control require methods of statistical shape analysis. From the mathematical point of view, shape analysis uses a variety of mathematical tools from differential geometry, geometric measure theory, stochastic geometry, etc. Quite recently, instruments from algebraic topology have been introduced for shape description, giving rise to a new field of research called Topological Data Analysis. As far as applications are concerned, the members of the SIG emphasize here topics which are relevant in medicine, biotechnology and material sciences. We deal with direct and inverse problems. Among direct problems, spatio-temporal pattern formation deals with the analysis of how patterns are created and developed in biology, medicine and materials science. Modeling, numerical simulation and analyses of the corresponding systems are tasks of paramount importance for direct problems. Among inverse problems, we study various statistical techniques of shape analysis to measure in a quantitative way the random variability of objects; recent methods of image analysis include optical imaging of objects in turbid media, which can be used as a non-invasive technique for the detection of tumors in the body.
Activities include

  1. Workshops or minisymposia with presentations of current problems by “Industry” and/or of current methods by “Academia”.
  2. Awareness seminars for SME’s with
    • “industry” providing data/ proposing test cases,
    • academics running test cases with innovative methods.
  3. Scientific collaboration and research projects among the members.
  4. Collaboration in international multidisciplinary training and formation
    of early-stage researchers.

Collaborations with scientists in other fields, laboratories, industry and hospitals are essential and actively encouraged and sought by the SIG.

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