Towards computing brain deformations for diagnosis, prognosis and neurosurgical simulation

Karol Miller, Z. Taylor, W.L. Nowinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of our research is to create a system computing brain deformations. We have in view both clinical and training applications, such as "brain shift" calculation, prognosis and diagnosis of development of brain diseases as well as surgical simulators for planning and education. In this paper, we specifically address issues related to creating geometrically and mechanically precise representations of the brain. The method comprises of the following steps: (1) development of a 3D anatomical brain atlas, (2) construction of a finite element mesh of the atlas, (3) creation of a mathematical model, and (4) development of an efficient computational model. We discuss two types of approaches to model deformation behavior of the brain: single-phase brain tissue model, suitable for analysis of relatively short events such as surgical actions; and bi-phasic brain tissue model, well suited for calculations leading to prognosis of the development of diseases. As an illustration of the presented concepts we provide examples of 3D meshing, calculation of reaction force acting on a surgical tool using a single-phase mathematical model, and calculations of the development of hydrocephalus and the effects of tumor growth using the bi-phasic modeling approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-121
JournalJournal of Mechanics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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