National Biocomputation Center


Soft Tissue Modeling using computer simulation

Joel Brown BS, Kevin Montgomery PhD, Jean-Claude Latombe PhD, Michael Stephanides MD, Stephen Schendel MD, DDS

PURPOSE: The development of accurate computer representation of soft tissues.

METHODS: Being able to accurately visualize soft tissues is important in providing a realistic virtual environment for surgical planning. This project was pursued through the department of computer science and will result in a PhD thesis for one of the graduate students employed by the center.

RESULTS: We were able to develop apply physical properties to the nodes of a 3-dimensional mesh. Applying a force on any of the nodes results in the deformation of the object, simulating real soft tissue deformation.

This technology is shared by a number of our projects which include the visualization of soft tissues in craniofacial surgery after repositioning bone fragments, the virtual microsurgerytraining tool, and the virtual delivery room.

The current soft tissue model is continuously refined in order to deal with different typesof tissues in the body as well as different layers of tissues. A collaboration was established with Professor Christian Laugier in Grenoble, France, who has dealt with this technology for the past decade. We are maintaining an active collaboration with his group for soft-tissue modeling and sharing experiences and knowledge over a wide range of applications in this area.

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