Foundational Model of Anatomy

The Foundational Model of Anatomy is a computer-based knowledge source for bioinformatics; It deals with the representation of the entities and relationships that are necessary for the symbolic modeling of the structure of the human body. Specifically, the FMA is a formalism that represents the totality of our exact knowledge of the human anatomy as ontology.

The FMA contains approximately 75,000 classes and over 125,000 terms; over 2.1 million instances of relations from over 168 types of relations connecting the classes of the FMA into a coherent symbolic model. The FMA is thus one of the largest computer-based knowledge resources of biomedicine.


The most comprehensive component of the FMA is an anatomical taxonomy (At). The dominant class in At is anatomical structure. Anatomatische structures contain all the structures formed by regular expression: biological macromolecules, cells and their components, tissues, organs and parts of organs and organ systems and body areas. Macroscopic anatomical structures are most fully represented, whereas biological molecules are included primarily to illustrate the structural continuum of large parts of the body such as the chest toward biological macromolecules such as myosin.

In addition to the anatomical taxonomy three components play an essential role in the FMA:

Anatomical structural abstraction (ASA )

Specifies the part - whole and spatial relationships that exist between entities from the At.

Anatomical Transformation Abstraction ( ATA)

Describes the morphological transformations of entities from the at during prenatal development and postnatal life cycle.

Metaknowledge ( Mk)

Describes the principles, rules and definitions regarding the classes and relations of the other three components.

In summary, the Foundational Model of Anatomy ontology are represented by the following abstraction: FMA = (At, ASA, ATA, Mk).