The MIRACLE project was recently presented at the Summer school on mining of biological data held at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Ås, Norway (NMBU), 11-18th of August by PhD candidate Johanne Solheim from NMBU and Prof. Boris Mizaikoff from Ulm University. Prof. Mizaikoff gave a lecture on “IR Sensor Technologies for Biomedical Applications”. The PhD candidate Johanne Solheim gave a presentation entitled “The MIRACLE Project”.

Students from all over Europe were gathered to learn data analysis techniques for spectroscopic data of biological materials. The data analysis included data pretreatment, machine learning techniques, data mining and multivariate data analysis.

The MIRACLE project aims to develop a mid-infrared probe for use in arthroscopic surgery. The probe will provide an accurate and objective analysis of the cartilage, which will aid the surgeons in the decision making. Currently, highly subjective methods such as manual probing and visual inspection are used to assess the condition of the tissue.

An essential part of this diagnostic method is the establishment of multivariate classification model to distinguish healthy tissue and various types and stages of degenerative joint diseases.

The BioSpec group at NMBU has a long experience with data analysis of spectroscopic data, namely with data processing and data modelling, and is a partner in the project. The group has developed multivariate models for spectral correction of highly scattering samples such as cells and tissues and will further develop and refine the models by noise reduction and signal enhancement using optimization of preprocessing parameters for ACL-based MIR-ATR data. These new models will be implemented in a user-friendly interface software facilitating the surgeon clinical routine.