Biomechanical modeling and computer simulation of the brain during neurosurgery

04/02/2019
by   K. Miller, et al.
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Computational biomechanics of the brain for neurosurgery is an emerging area of research recently gaining in importance and practical applications. This review paper presents the contributions of the Intelligent Systems for Medicine Laboratory and it's collaborators to this field, discussing the modeling approaches adopted and the methods developed for obtaining the numerical solutions. We adopt a physics-based modeling approach, and describe the brain deformation in mechanical terms (such as displacements, strains and stresses), which can be computed using a biomechanical model, by solving a continuum mechanics problem. We present our modeling approaches related to geometry creation, boundary conditions, loading and material properties. From the point of view of solution methods, we advocate the use of fully nonlinear modeling approaches, capable of capturing very large deformations and nonlinear material behavior. We discuss finite element and meshless domain discretization, the use of the Total Lagrangian formulation of continuum mechanics, and explicit time integration for solving both time-accurate and steady state problems. We present the methods developed for handling contacts and for warping 3D medical images using the results of our simulations. We present two examples to showcase these methods: brain shift estimation for image registration and brain deformation computation for neuronavigation in epilepsy treatment.

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