Scientific Computing Applications in Biomedical Simulation of Soft Tissues
Last modified: June 24, 2006
Biomedical applications of scientific computing have been commonplace for the last few decades. Examples include computational fluid dynamics models of heart valves and blood flow dynamics, finite element models for bones and soft tissues and multi-body dynamics for examining locomotion and gait. In fact, one of the most popular solid/fluid coupling algorithms, the immersed boundary method, was explicitly invented for solving the problem of heart valve fluid dynamics. Unfortunately, such applications have typically been limited to studies involving offline calculations that can take days or even weeks due to the intricate anatomic geometries, the speed of the hardware and the algorithmic complexity of the numerical methods for solving the large scale non-linear partial differential equations that result from the governing physics. However, performing such simulations in real-time would open the door to exciting applications like virtual surgery. Typically, researchers have worked to achieve interactive rates by simplifying the numerical methods for the equations of motion, sacrificing accuracy for speed. However, this can be very problematic because the resulting physical behaviors are inaccurate and simply plausible. I will talk about maintaining the interactive time constraint for deformable soft tissues without sacrificing the realism of the physical behavior by using efficient algorithms and promising new hardware.