Simo Saarakkala

Simo Saarakkala


Professor, ERC Grantee

180 peer reviewed publications in international journals. The publications have been cited 3125 times. The author has a h-index of 31.00. (Scopus)


Dr. Saarakkala currently acts as Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu. He is also a Scientific Director of Infotech Oulu Focus Institute, University of Oulu. Prof. Saarakkala held an ERC Starting Grant for 2014-2018, and is now holding an ERC Proof of Concept Grant for 2020-2021.

Prof. Saarakkala has published over 180 peer-reviewed scientific articles on different aspects of musculoskeletal imaging and biomechanics, particularly focusing on osteoarthritis. He is an internationally recognized researcher in the field of osteoarthritis imaging. Prof. Saarakkala's DIOS (Diagnostics of Osteoarthritis) research group is focusing on diagnostics and imaging of osteoarthritis at different levels, i.e. from tissue and cell level up to the clinical level. The primary goal in his research is to better understand the etiology and progression of osteoarthritis as well as to develop novel methodologies to diagnose the disease at early phase, and predicts its clinical progression, when there would still be treatment options for patients.

Research interests

  • osteoarthritis
  • musculoskeletal diseases
  • imaging
  • machine learning

Social media

Research groups

  • Group Leader, Diagnostics of Osteoarthritis (DIOS)

Selected publications

  • Das Gupta, S.; Finnilä, M. A. J.; Karhula, S. S.; Kauppinen, S.; Joukainen, A.; Kröger, H.; Korhonen, R. K.; Thambyah, A.; Rieppo, L.; Saarakkala, S. (2020) Raman microspectroscopic analysis of the tissue-specific composition of the human osteochondral junction in osteoarthritis : a pilot study. - Acta biomaterialia 106, 145-155 . [Original] [Self-archived]
  • Karhula, S. S.; Finnilä, M. A. J.; Rytky, S. J. O.; Cooper, D. M.; Thevenot, J.; Valkealahti, M.; Pritzker, K. P. H.; Haapea, M.; Joukainen, A.; Lehenkari, P.; Kröger, H.; Korhonen, R. K.; Nieminen, H. J.; Saarakkala, S. (2020) Quantifying Subresolution 3D Morphology of Bone with Clinical Computed Tomography. - Annals of biomedical engineering 48 (2), 595-605 . [Original] [Self-archived]
  • Mohammadinejad R., Ashrafizadeh M., Pardakhty A, Uzieliene I, Denkovskij J, Bernotiene E, Janssen L, Lorite GS, Saarakkala S and Mobasheri A (2020) Nanotechnological Strategies for Osteoarthritis Diagnosis, Monitoring, Clinical Management, and Regenerative Medicine: Recent Advances and Future Opportunities. - Current Rheumatology Reports 22 (12), 1, 17 . [Original]
  • Tiulpin, A.; Klein, S.; Bierma-Zeinstra, S.M.A.; Thevenot, J.; Rahtu, E.; Meurs, J.; Oei, E.H.G.; Saarakkala, S. (2019) Multimodal Machine Learning-based Knee Osteoarthritis Progression Prediction from Plain Radiographs and Clinical Data. - Scientific reports 9 (1), 20038 . [Original] [Self-archived]
  • Mobasheri, Ali; Saarakkala, Simo; Finnilä, Mikko; Karsdal, Morten A.; Bay-Jensen, Anne-Christine; van Spil, Willem Evert (2019) Recent advances in understanding the phenotypes of osteoarthritis. - F1000research 8, 2091 . [Original] [Self-archived]
  • Tiulpin, Aleksei; Thevenot, Jérôme; Rahtu, Esa; Lehenkari, Petri; Saarakkala, Simo (2018) Automatic knee osteoarthritis diagnosis from plain radiographs : a deep learning-based approach. - Scientific Reports 8, 1727 .
  • Nieminen, H. J.; Gahunia, H. K.; Pritzker, K. P. H.; Ylitalo, T.; Rieppo, L.; Karhula, S. S.; Lehenkari, P.; Häggstörm, E.; Saarakkala, S. (2017) 3D histopathological grading of osteochondral tissue using contrast-enhanced micro-computed tomography. - Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 25 (10), 1680-1689 . [Original]


Development of 3D Histopathological Grading of Osteoarthritis

Histopathological grading of osteochondral tissue is widely used in osteoarthritis (OA) research, and it is relatively common in post-surgery in vi

Prediction and decision support systems for knee osteoarthritis

Strategic research project of the University of OuluFocus institute: Infotech OuluFaculty: Faculty of Medicine (FoM)