Digital Life Sciences
The focus area Digital Life Sciences has also developed from the research area of Cyber Medical Systems, bioinformatics and system biology. The aim is to adapt established computational methods to specific requirements in biomedical applications as well as research and development for new computational technologies in data analytics, modelling and simulation in order to open new applications in biomedical research and translation into clinics and in the health care system. Research is conducted, for example, in the "Innovation Center for Digital Medicine", primarily on regulatory, economic and organizational challenges. Digital Medicine will benefit from the broad research community in computational sciences at RWTH Aachen, e.g from the AI Center established by the Department of Computer Science at RWTH Aachen University and the Joint Research Center for Computational Biomedicine (JRC), which is connected to the JARA Center for Simulation and Data Science. At the JRC for Computational Biomedicine, research will focus on combined AI and mechanistic hybrid modelling for the analysis of disease progression and realistic evidence data from patients, research into new computational technologies such as quantum computing for biomedical applications, systems biology/medicine and bioinformatics with a focus on genomic control mechanisms. In addition, close cooperation in the field of dynamic image analysis at Fraunhofer MEVIS was established through a research group assigned to the CDCA. Here, specific models and simulations for complex flows and tissue mechanics are developed with applications in biotechnology, models of physiological phenomena and numerical design of medical devices. Computer-aided image analysis, for example in large-area 3D+t microscopy, generation of synthetic microscopy images and biomedical image analysis in 3d+t using deep learning is carried out in the faculty of electrical engineering at RWTH Aachen University, in the Fraunhofer MEVIS Group, and at ExMI.
An innovative research area with high innovation potential in computer-aided medicine at RWTH Aachen University are digital patients, which allow the simulation of therapies and disease progression. They are based on a variety of data, modelling and simulation technologies, AI and physics-based models in a multi-scale approach from molecular to macroscopic scale, which requires close cooperation between the participating faculties and institutes. Digital surgery, which currently focuses on the planning of facial reconstructions, is also being expanded. The goal is to establish a center for computer-assisted surgery.