General Science and Philosophy


Developing a Parallelized Hyperelastic Boundary-Element Code for the Real-Time Simulation of Deformation of a Kidney

Authors: Kirana Kumara P

It is widely believed that just like flight simulators are useful for training pilots, surgery simulators are useful for training surgeons. However, it is a long way for surgery simulators to reach the level of maturity the flight simulators have attained at present. Currently, most of the surgery simulators use models that are not physics based, thus sacrificing fidelity. Although the literature notes that physics based models are superior compared to other models, more work needs to be done before one can have a useful surgery simulator that uses a physics based model in the back-end. Hence the proposed project aims to build a simulator that can train surgeons in eye-hand coordination which is very important for many laparoscopic surgical procedures. Here, deformation of a kidney will be modeled using the Boundary Element Method (BEM) which is a physics based method. Since a kidney may be approximated to be hyperelastic, a hyperelastic BEM code has to be used in the back-end. Unfortunately, no hyperelastic BEM code is readily available. Hence a hyperelastic BEM code will be developed as part of the project. One has to parallelize the code and run the code on a computer cluster to speed up the computations and to achieve real-time performance, so that the simulations would be realistic. This requires a computer cluster with a multi-core processor. In fact, many cores are needed in one and only one processor to minimize the data transfer time. One may note that although BEM has been identified in the literature as a method that could be useful for building surgical simulators, none has attempted to build a surgical simulator based on nonlinear boundary elements. Once the simulator is built, as future work, the simulator may be offered to a few surgeons for testing/evaluation. If the product turns out to be successful, one can think of commercialization also. Anyway, the nonlinear BEM code may be released as free and open source software so that anyone can use it to solve a hyperelastic problem (even problems that are not related to surgical simulation).

Comments: 19 Pages. This is a draft of a project proposal that was submitted to SERB (a funding agency in India) in June 2018. The proposal was rejected in March 2019. The Principal Investigator is posting hereby a draft of the proposal.

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[v1] 2019-03-10 01:57:51

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