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Improved Techniques for the Generation of 3D Finite Element Meshes of Human Anatomical Structures

Claudio Lobos 1
1 TIMC-GMCAO - Gestes Medico-chirurgicaux Assistés par Ordinateur
TIMC - Techniques de l'Ingénierie Médicale et de la Complexité - Informatique, Mathématiques et Applications, Grenoble - UMR 5525
Abstract : The Finite Element Method (FEM) is probably the most used strategy to simulate physical phenomena in a domain. The method needs a subdivision of the domain into simpler geometrical structures. This subdivision is known as a mesh. The numerical solution computed by the FEM directly depends on the employed
mesh.

In the medical field, the domains to simulate are complex geometries. Due to this complexity, it is preferred to use Registration Methods (RMs) to produce the mesh of the domain to be simulated. The RMs are a family of strategies that "adapt" a predefined mesh (the atlas) to patient data in order to represent the target domain. A RM reallocates the nodes of the atlas without changing the topology of it. Unfortunately, the RMs don't consider element information; therefore it is possible to produce invalid and poor quality elements. This thesis proposes reparation methods to achieve validity and improve the quality of the elements in the mesh after registration. Results are presented for femur and face model.

The most important limitation of RMs is that sometimes the focus of the simulation is given on a particular region. An example of this is the brain tumor resection surgery. In this case, a mesh with higher density of nodes is needed on the region between the opening skull point and the location of the tumor. It is on this region where the simulation must be more precise. Unfortunately an "atlas" mesh cannot be produced for each single case. Therefore a mesh generation technique with region refinement is also proposed on this thesis. Results are shown over neurosurgery.
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Claudio Lobos. Improved Techniques for the Generation of 3D Finite Element Meshes of Human Anatomical Structures. Modeling and Simulation. Université Joseph-Fourier - Grenoble I, 2009. English. ⟨tel-00371212⟩

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