Virtual Human program

research contacts: Richard Ward, Clay Easterly

A human simulation tool, the Virtual Human (VH), is under development at ORNL. The VH will be a research and testing environment integrating biophysical and other models, data, advanced computational algorithms, and a solid-body anatomy model. Incorporating mechanical, electrical, physiological, and biochemical information, the VH will provide a unique evaluation platform for diverse applications such as medical training, prosthetic design, microgravity effects, and blunt trauma such as car crash survivability. ORNL's wide development experience in anatomical and biokinetic models, databases, computing, and informatics uniquely equips it to pioneer this effort

Organ dosage data using a reactor-irradiated phantom

Since the mid-1960's, ORNL has used mathematical representations of the body to estimate organ doses. These calculations have evolved with the collection of physical organ dosage data. One collection technique involved this phantom, which was irradiated in a reactor.

Gap junction communication, shown using fluorescent dye, may be important to tissue growth regulation.

Gap junction communication may be important in growth regulation of normal and diseased tissues. Cancer cells generally demonstrate poor or absent gap junction communication. This photomicrograph illustrates gap junction communication, using a fluorescent dye, between cells injured along the "scrape" and neighboring, uninjured cells. Information such as this at the cellular and subcellular levels will eventually be incorporated into the Virtual Human.
Photomicrograph shows Clone 9 cells stained with Lucifer Yellow, after scrape-loading, under the fluorescent light. Dr. G.D.Griffin, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Compartment models used for evaluating radiological transport in humans

Compartment models such as this have been invaluable tools for evaluating radiological transport in humans. This schematic illustrates the direction of flow of rubidium among tissues and organs for a reference adult male.

Detailed information on the size, shape, and composition of tissue and organs is essential to the development of dosimetry models. Through a collaborative investigation with Children's Hospital in Washington, DC, ORNL has created realistic geometric representations of organs in children for calculating radiation dose.

Miniaturization of instruments provide vital physiological and pharmacological information.

Miniaturization of instruments, like this ORNL CT scanner with a 50-micron resolution, will help provide vital physiological and pharmacological information. This capability, in the context of the ORNL Virtual Mouse Project, will subsequently fill voids of knowledge for the Virtual Human Program.

ORNL image of a child's organs with easily identified cranium, brain, and eyes

In this ORNL graphic constructed from CAT images of children's organs, the cranium, brain, and eyes are readily identified. Note the outline of the muscles (orange) that control each eye (at top) and the individual lenses (blue).

The ORNL mathematical phantom series includes ages from newborn through adult.

The ORNL mathematical phantom series includes newborn, and individuals of ages 1,5,10,15 and adult. The phantoms are hermaphroditic. The interior organs, while approximately correct as to size, shape, position, composition and density, are created from simple solids to provide for ease in evaluation by Monte Carlo dosimetry codes.

The Virtual Human Program will be a leader in a global effort to produce a human simulation environment.

Devoted substantially to developing needed biophysical, biochemical and physiological data, the Virtual Human Program will be a leader in a global effort to produce a human simulation environment. The environment will utilize the most complete information on whole-body systems, calculate complex human responses to stimuli, and provide high-quality multi-sensory output.

ORNL || CSM || CCS || CPED || VizWall || ORNL SC98 exhibit