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Finite element modeling in surgery simulation

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1 Author(s)
Bro-Nielsen, M. ; HT Med. Inc., Rockville, MD, USA

Modeling the deformation of human organs for surgery simulation systems has turned out to be quite a challenge. Not only is very little known about the physical properties of general human tissue but in addition, most conventional modeling techniques are not applicable because of the timing requirements of simulation systems. To produce a video-like visualization of a deforming organ, the deformation must be determined at rates of 10-20 times/s. In the fields of elasticity and related modeling paradigms, the main interest has been the development of accurate mathematical models. The speed of these models has been a secondary interest. But for surgery simulation systems, the priorities are reversed. The main interest is the speed and robustness of the models, and accuracy is of less concern. Recent years have seen the development of different practical modeling techniques that take into account the reversed priorities and can be used in practice for real-time modeling of deformable organs. The paper discusses some of these new techniques in the reference frame of finite element models. In particular, it builds on the recent work by the author on fast finite element models and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of these models in comparison to previous models

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:86 ,  Issue: 3 )