Dassault Systèmes plans to make a virtual twin of the human body in the coming years, says Bernard Charlès, the company’s vice chairman and chief executive officer. The plan fits in with the company’s overall vision to help cure patients and help them live longer.
“In 1989, we created the first virtual twin of a giant airplane, the Boeing 777,” Charlès says. “Today we’re capable of applying the knowledge and know-how we acquired in the non-organic world to the living world, extending our focus from things to life. The virtual twin experience of the human body will enable us to invent new ways of representing life by understanding and representing the invisible and make a lasting contribution to benefit all.”
A virtual twin experience of the human body created with the engineering software company’s 3DExperience platform will integrate modeling, simulation, information intelligence and collaboration, he says. It brings together biosciences, material sciences and information sciences to project the data from an object into a complete living virtual model that can be fully configured and simulated.
“By combining art, science and technology, it makes it possible to understand the invisible to represent the visible. Industry, researchers, physicians and even patients can visualize, test, understand and predict what cannot be seen—from the way drugs affect a disease to surgical outcomes—before a patient is treated,” Charlès adds.
To achieve this strategy, Dassault Systèmes will focus on developing its leadership in life sciences and healthcare. It will also work to further develop leadership in two other sectors: manufacturing industries and infrastructure and cities, he says.
These sectors share similar development processes and sustainability needs in their efforts to improve quality of life, whether through more affordable and precise therapies, optimized infrastructures, or better use of the environment, Charlès says.
At Dassault Systèmes 3DExperience World event held earlier this month in Nashville, Mike Schultz, a Paralympic gold and silver medalist, spoke about his use of SolidWorks computer-aided design modeling tools to continue perfecting the design of a prosthetic leg, knee, and foot. He originally designed the prosthetic leg after he lost his leg above the knee in a 2008 snowmobile racing accident.
He went on to found BioDapt, a company that designs and manufactures high-performance, lower-limb prosthetic components used for action sports and
similar activities. The goal is to manufacture the highest quality and highly versatile components that allow amputees to participate in sports and activities. This equipment can be and is used by many elite adaptive athletes as well as by the average person who wants to get out and be active, Schultz says.
Schultz is the creator of the Moto Knee and the Versa Foot.
“I wanted to get back to doing the activities I loved—mainly motocross and snowmobile racing—but I soon found there was nothing that would really allow me to ride the way I did before my amputation,” he says.
“With my knowledge and experience of fabrication, the experience of tuning suspension on my race equipment and my unwillingness to compromise I set out to create what I needed. After nearly two years of development I have come up with a knee unit that is versatile enough to handle many different action sports and has helped me win multiple ESPN X Games medals ain the adaptive motocross and snocross events,” Schultz adds.
Matt Carney, a biomechatronics graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also spoke at 3DExperience World. He is working to connect cybernetic interfaces to the human body; enabling direct control of robotics limbs. Carney says he is focused on the future of prosthetics and on eventually creating full biological capabilities in artificial limbs.