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29 March 2016 Automatic construction of patient-specific finite-element mesh of the spine from IVDs and vertebra segmentations
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Computational medicine aims at developing patient-specific models to help physicians in the diagnosis and treatment selection for patients. The spine, and other skeletal structures, is an articulated object, composed of rigid bones (vertebrae) and non-rigid parts (intervertebral discs (IVD), ligaments and muscles). These components are usually extracted from different image modalities, involving patient repositioning. In the case of the spine, these models require the segmentation of IVDs from MR and vertebrae from CT. In the literature, there exists a vast selection of segmentations methods, but there is a lack of approaches to align the vertebrae and IVDs. This paper presents a method to create patient-specific finite element meshes for biomechanical simulations, integrating rigid and non-rigid parts of articulated objects. First, the different parts are aligned in a complete surface model. Vertebrae extracted from CT are rigidly repositioned in between the IVDs, initially using the IVDs location and then refining the alignment using the MR image with a rigid active shape model algorithm. Finally, a mesh morphing algorithm, based on B-splines, is employed to map a template finite-element (volumetric) mesh to the patient-specific surface mesh. This morphing reduces possible misalignments and guarantees the convexity of the model elements. Results show that the accuracy of the method to align vertebrae into MR, together with IVDs, is similar to that of the human observers. Thus, this method is a step forward towards the automation of patient-specific finite element models for biomechanical simulations.
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Isaac Castro-Mateos, Jose M. Pozo, Aron Lazary, and Alejandro F. Frangi "Automatic construction of patient-specific finite-element mesh of the spine from IVDs and vertebra segmentations", Proc. SPIE 9788, Medical Imaging 2016: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging, 97881U (29 March 2016);

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