For this Deep Accreditation Track solution, UNIBO will use data collected at its linked third party Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, as part of a separately funded running project. This study is recruiting at least 10 adult healthy volunteers and at least 10 elderly patients with severe dynapenia (loss of muscle force).

For each subject it will be collected:

  • an MRI of the lower body
  • an isokinetic dynamometry of leg extension
  • a maximal isometric dynamometry of leg extension,
  • a multi-channel electromyography of the most relevant muscles of the thigh

all with informed consent that explicitly authorizes the sharing of these data in anonymized form for research purposes.

A preliminary study on the optimization of the MRI protocol to be used suggested a typical spatial resolution of 0.4297×0.4297mm2 with a 2 mm slice thickness.

The atlas-based algorithm to be employed for semi-automatic segmentation of individual muscles on MRI data enables the reconstruction of muscle volumes with a high level of accuracy (average percentage difference < 10%, compared to standard manual segmentations), in a considerably reduced amount of time (few hours vs days), and an average reproducibility of muscle segmentation. For the dynamometry, an instrumentation less advanced than the one we plan to use ensures 0.33 Nm of standard error.