Background and objectives: Surface rendering and physical models with constant parameters are often employed for cutting procedures in conventional surgical simulators. As a consequence, the internal structures of soft tissues cannot be rendered properly and haptic interaction is unrealistic. In order to improve both the visual and force feedback, a new volumetric geometric model is introduced. Methods: In this paper, we introduce a new volumetric geometric model, for which multidimensional parameters are derived from the gray values to map the color and transparency of the 3D soft tissues. In the meantime, the biomechanical properties of soft tissues are described by a meshless physical model and the model parameters are closely correlated to the multidimensional parameters of the developed volumetric geometric model. As a beneficial result, the force feedback changes according to the physical properties of different soft tissue structures, which reflects better the real-life scenarios during the course of cutting procedures. Results and Conclusions: Simulation results show that both the surface and internal structures of soft tissues can be rendered properly and the boundaries between different tissue structures are visually distinct in incision. The curves of feedback force change according to the different structures of soft tissue, improving haptic interaction. Compared with the conventional cutting model, both visual effect and haptic interaction are improved in the proposed volumetric geometric model.

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Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine
Department of Systems and Computer Engineering

Shi, W. (Wen), Liu, P, & Zheng, M. (Minhua). (2020). Cutting procedures with improved visual effects and haptic interaction for surgical simulation systems. Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, 184. doi:10.1016/j.cmpb.2019.105270