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Soft volume simulation using a deformable surface model

By Sylvester Arnab


The aim of the research is to contribute to the modelling of deformable objects, such as soft tissues in medical simulation. Interactive simulation for medical training is a concept undergoing rapid growth as the underlying technologies support the increasingly more realstic and functional training environments. The prominent issues in the deployment of such environments centre on a fine balance between the accuracy of the deformable model and real-time interactivity. Acknowledging the importance of interacting with non-rigid materials such as the palpation of a breast for breast assessment, this thesis has explored the physics-based modelling techniques for both volume and surface approach. This thesis identified that the surface approach based on the mass spring system (MSS) has the benefits of rapid prototyping, reduced mesh complexity, computational efficiency and the support for large material deformation compared to the continuum approach. However, accuracy relative to real material properties is often over looked in the configuration of the resulting model.\ud This thesis has investigated the potential and the feasibility of surface modelling for simulating soft objects regardless of the design of the mesh topology and the non-existence of internal volume discretisation. The assumptions of the material parameters such as elasticity, homogeneity and incompressibility allow a reduced set of material values to be implemented in order to establish the association with the surface configuration. A framework for a deformable surface model was generated in accordance with the issues of the estimation of properties and volume behaviour corresponding to the material parameters. The novel extension to the surface MSS enables the tensile properties of the material to be integrated into an enhanced configuration despite its lack of volume information. The benefits of the reduced complexity of a surface model are now correlated with the improved accuracy in the estimation of properties and volume behaviour. Despite the irregularity of the underlying mesh topology and the absence of volume, the model reflected the original material values and preserved volume with minimal deviations. Global deformation effect which is essential to emulate the run time behaviour of a real soft material upon interaction, such as the palpation of a generic breast, was also demonstrated, thus indicating the potential of this novel technique in the application of soft tissue simulation

Topics: QH301, TA
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