Creating fast finite element models from medical images

Jeffrey Berkley, Peter Oppenheimer, Suzanne Weghorst, Daniel Berg, Gregory Raugi, Dave Haynor, Mark Ganter, Cole Brooking, George Turkiyyah

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The procedure for creating a patient-specific virtual tissue model with finite element (FE) based haptic (force) feedback varies substantially from that which is required for generating a typical volumetric model. In addition to extracting geometrical and texture map data to provide visual realism, it is necessary to obtain information for supporting a FE model. Among many differences, FE-based VR environments require a FE model with appropriate material properties assigned. The FE equation must also be processed in a manner specific to the surgical task in order to maximize deformation and haptic computation speed. We are currently developing methodologies and support software for creating patient-specific models from medical images. The steps for creating such a model are as foljows: 1) obtain medical images and texture maps of tissue structures; 2) extract tissue structure contours; 3) generate a 3D mesh from the tissue structure contours; 4) alter mesh based on simulation objectives; 5) assign material properties, boundary nodes and texture maps; 6) generate a fast (or real-time) FE model; and 7) support the tissue models with task-specific tools and training aids. This paper will elaborate on the above steps with particular reference to the creation of suturing simulation software, which will also be described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedicine Meets Virtual Reality 2000 - Envisioning Healing
Subtitle of host publicationInteractive Technology and the Patient-Practitioner Dialogue
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)1586030140, 9781586030148
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes
Event8th Annual Meeting of Medicine Meets Virtual Reality, MMVR 2000 - Newport Beach, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 27 2000Jan 30 2000

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


Other8th Annual Meeting of Medicine Meets Virtual Reality, MMVR 2000
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNewport Beach, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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