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Biomechanical Modeling and Computer Simulation of the Brain during Neurosurgery

1Intelligent Systems for Medicine Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
2Computational Radiology Laboratory, Department of Radiology, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
3Surgical Planning Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Publication Date:
Int J Numer Method Biomed Eng
Volume Number:
Issue Number:
Int J Numer Method Biomed Eng. 2019 Oct;35(10):e3250.
PubMed ID:
brain biomechanics, brain shift, epilepsy surgery, glioma surgery, image warping, meshless methods, neuroimage registration, neurosurgical simulation
Appears in Collections:
DP1092893/Australian Research Council/
DP120100402/Australian Research Council/
DP160100714/Australian Research Council/
Merit Award for G.R. Joldes/Department of Health, Western Australia/
Raine Priming Grant for G.R. Joldes/Raine Medical Research Foundation/
Boston Children's Hospital Translational Research Program/
U24 CA180918/GF/NIH HHS/United States
P41 EB015898/GF/NIH HHS/United States
P41 EB015902/GF/NIH HHS/United States
R42 MH086984/GF/NIH HHS/United States
R01 EB019483/GF/NIH HHS/United States
R01 NS079788/GF/NIH HHS/United States
APP1144519/National Health and Medical Research Council NHMRC/
APP1006031, APP1162030/National Health and Medical Research Council NHMRC/
Generated Citation:
Miller K., Joldes G.R., Bourantas G., Warfield S.K., Hyde D.E., Kikinis R., Wittek A. Biomechanical Modeling and Computer Simulation of the Brain during Neurosurgery. Int J Numer Method Biomed Eng. 2019 Oct;35(10):e3250. PMID: 31400252.
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Computational biomechanics of the brain for neurosurgery is an emerging area of research recently gaining in importance and practical applications. This review paper presents the contributions of the Intelligent Systems for Medicine Laboratory and its collaborators to this field, discussing the modeling approaches adopted and the methods developed for obtaining the numerical solutions. We adopt a physics-based modeling approach and describe the brain deformation in mechanical terms (such as displacements, strains, and stresses), which can be computed using a biomechanical model, by solving a continuum mechanics problem. We present our modeling approaches related to geometry creation, boundary conditions, loading, and material properties. From the point of view of solution methods, we advocate the use of fully nonlinear modeling approaches, capable of capturing very large deformations and nonlinear material behavior. We discuss finite element and meshless domain discretization, the use of the total Lagrangian formulation of continuum mechanics, and explicit time integration for solving both time-accurate and steady-state problems. We present the methods developed for handling contacts and for warping 3D medical images using the results of our simulations. We present two examples to showcase these methods: brain shift estimation for image registration and brain deformation computation for neuronavigation in epilepsy treatment.