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Development of patient-specific biomechanical models for predicting large breast deformation

L. Han, J. H. Hipwell, C. Tanner, Z. Taylor, T. Mertzanidou, S. Ourselin, D. J. Hawkes
Physics in Medicine and Biology
Vol. 57, pp. 455-472, 2012


Physically realistic simulations for large breast deformation are of great interest for many medical applications such as cancer diagnosis, image registration, surgical planning and image-guided surgery. To support fast, large deformation simulations of breasts in clinical settings, we proposed a patient-specific biomechanical modelling framework for breasts, based on an open-source graphics processing unit-based, explicit, dynamic, nonlinear finite element (FE) solver. A semi-automatic segmentation method for tissue classification, integrated with a fully automated FE mesh generation approach, was implemented for quick patient-specific FE model generation. To solve the difficulty in determining material parameters of soft tissues in vivo for FE simulations, a novel method for breast modelling, with a simultaneous material model parameter optimization for soft tissues in vivo, was also proposed. The optimized deformation prediction was obtained through iteratively updating material model parameters to maximize the image similarity between the FE-predicted MR image and the experimentally acquired MR image of a breast. The proposed method was validated and tested by simulating and analysing breast deformation experiments under plate compression. Its prediction accuracy was evaluated by calculating landmark displacement errors. The results showed that both the heterogeneity and the anisotropy of soft tissues were essential in predicting large breast deformations under plate compression. As a generalized method, the proposed process can be used for fast deformation analyses of soft tissues in medical image analyses and surgical simulations.

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  author = { L. Han and J. H. Hipwell and C. Tanner and Z. Taylor and T. Mertzanidou and S. Ourselin and D. J. Hawkes},
  title = {Development of patient-specific biomechanical models for predicting large breast deformation},
  journal = {Physics in Medicine and Biology},
  year = {2012},
  month = {},
  pages = {455-472},
  volume = {57},
  number = {},
  keywords = {}