The importance of organ geometry and boundary constraints for planning of medical interventions

S. Misra, K. J. Macura, K. T. Ramesh, A. M. Okamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Realistic modeling of medical interventions involving tool-tissue interactions has been considered to be a key requirement in the development of high-fidelity simulators and planners. Organ geometry, soft-tissue constitutive laws, and boundary conditions imposed by the connective tissues surrounding the organ are some of the factors that govern the accuracy of medical intervention planning. In this study it is demonstrated that, for needle path planning, the organ geometry and boundary constraints surrounding the organ are the most important factors influencing the deformation. As an example, the procedure of needle insertion into the prostate (e.g. for biopsy or brachytherapy) is considered. Image segmentation is used to extract the anatomical details from magnetic resonance images, while object-oriented finite element analysis (OOF) software is used to generate finite element (FE) meshes from the segmented images. Two-dimensional FE simulations that account for complex anatomical details along with relative motion between the prostate and its surrounding structure using cohesive zone models are compared with traditional simulation models having simple organ geometry and boundary constraints. Nodal displacements for these simpler models were observed to be up to 14 times larger than those obtained from the anatomically accurate models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-206
Number of pages12
JournalMedical Engineering and Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Anatomy
  • Biopsy
  • Brachytherapy
  • Elasticity
  • Finite element modeling
  • Needle insertion
  • Path planning
  • Prostate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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