Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Committee Chair

Farag, Aly A.

Author's Keywords

Tissue deformation; Soft tissue; Cone beam CT


Imaging systems in medicine; Surgical technology


Computer-aided minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has progressed significantly in the last decade and it has great potential in surgical planning and operations. To limit the damage to nearby healthy tissue, accurate modeling is required of the mechanical behavior of a target soft tissue subject to surgical manipulations. Therefore, the study of soft tissue deformations is important for computer-aided (MIS) in surgical planning and operation, or in developing surgical simulation tools or systems. The image acquisition facilities are also important for prediction accuracy. This dissertation addresses partial differential and integral equations (PDIE) based biomechanical modeling of soft tissue deformations incorporating the specific material properties to characterize the soft tissue responses for certain human interface behaviors. To achieve accurate simulation of real tissue deformations, several biomechanical finite element (FE) models are proposed to characterize liver tissue. The contribution of this work is in theoretical and practical aspects of tissue modeling. High resolution imaging techniques of Micro Computed Tomography (Micro-CT) and Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) imaging are first proposed to study soft tissue deformation in this dissertation. These high resolution imaging techniques can detect the tissue deformation details in the contact region between the tissue and the probe for small force loads which would be applied to a surgical probe used. Traditional imaging techniques in clinics can only achieve low image resolutions. Very small force loads seen in these procedures can only yield tissue deformation on the few millimeters to submillimeter scale. Small variations are hardly to detect. Furthermore, if a model is validated using high resolution images, it implies that the model is true in using the same model for low resolution imaging facilities. The reverse cannot be true since the small variations at the sub-millimeter level cannot be detected. In this dissertation, liver tissue deformations, surface morphological changes, and volume variations are explored and compared from simulations and experiments. The contributions of the dissertation are as follows. For liver tissue, for small force loads (5 grams to tens of grams), the linear elastic model and the neo-Hooke's hyperelastic model are applied and shown to yield some discrepancies among them in simulations and discrepancies between simulations and experiments. The proposed finite element models are verified for liver tissue. A general FE modeling validation system is proposed to verify the applicability of FE models to the soft tissue deformation study. The validation of some FE models is performed visually and quantitatively in several ways in comparison with the actual experimental results. Comparisons among these models are also performed to show their advantages and disadvantages. The method or verification system can be applied for other soft tissues for the finite element analysis of the soft tissue deformation. For brain tissue, an elasticity based model was proposed previously employing local elasticity and Poisson's ratio. It is validated by intraoperative images to show more accurate prediction of brain deformation than the linear elastic model. FE analysis of brain ventricle shape changes was also performed to capture the dynamic variation of the ventricles in author's other works. There, for the safety reasons, the images for brain deformation modeling were from Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanning which have been used for brain scanning. The measurement process of material properties involves the tissue desiccation, machine limits, human operation errors, and time factors. The acquired material parameters from measurement devices may have some difference from the tissue used in real state of experiments. Therefore, an experimental and simulation based method to inversely evaluate the material parameters is proposed and compared