Computational Mechanics in Virtual Reality: Cutting and Tumour Interactions in a Boundary Element Simulation of Surgery on the Brain


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Boundary element (BE) analysis is well known as a tool for assessing the stiffness and strength of engineering components, but, along with finite element (FE) techniques, it is also finding new applications as a means of simulating the behaviour of deformable objects within virtual reality simulations since it exploits precisely the same kind of surface-only definition used for visual rendering of three-dimensional solid objects. This paper briefly reviews existing applications of BE and FE within virtual reality, and describes recent work on the BE-based simulation of aspects of surgical operations on the brain, making use of commercial hand-held force-feedback interfaces (haptic devices) to measure the positions of the virtual surgical tools and provide tactile feedback to the user. The paper presents an overview of the project then concentrates on recent developments, including the incorporation of simulated tumours in the virtual brain.



Edited by:

Patrick Sean Keogh






I.A. Jones et al., "Computational Mechanics in Virtual Reality: Cutting and Tumour Interactions in a Boundary Element Simulation of Surgery on the Brain ", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vols. 5-6, pp. 55-62, 2006

Online since:

October 2006




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