Real-time finite element based virtual tissue cutting

Alex J. Lindblad*, George M. Turkiyyah, Suzanne J. Weghorst, Dan Berg

*Corresponding author for this work

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

1 Scopus citations


Tool-tissue interaction is most accurately modeled as an imposed dispalcement constraint, thus augmenting the traditional finite element equation, Ku = f, to a 2 × 2 block system. This augmentation does two things: it enlarges the system, and it introduces the Schur complement(S) during the solution. This research has focused on efficient methods to update the Schur complement and it's inverse during displacement constraint removal and addition to allow for soft-tissue cutting to occur in real-time. By taking advantage of how the constraints impact the Schur complement, removal and addition of these constraints are handled by either performing a rank- 2 or rank-1 update on S-1, respectively. This greatly reduces the computational load on the CPU; and through use of timing tests shows that the update frequencies are well within an acceptable range for tactile feedback. To further solidify this method as being highly useful, a prototypical simulator has been developed that allows users to haptically perform bi-manual soft-tissue cutting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedicine Meets Virtual Reality 14 - Accelerating Change in Healthcare
Subtitle of host publicationNext Medical Toolkit, MMVR 2006
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)1586035835, 9781586035839
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventMedicine Meets Virtual Reality 14 - Accelerating Change in Healthcare: Next Medical Toolkit, MMVR 2006 - Long Beach, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 24 2006Jan 27 2006

Publication series

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


OtherMedicine Meets Virtual Reality 14 - Accelerating Change in Healthcare: Next Medical Toolkit, MMVR 2006
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLong Beach, CA


  • Finite element
  • Haptics
  • Real-time
  • Soft-tissue cutting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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