Development of Mesh-Free Simulation Methods for Real-Time Surgical Simulation
Supervisor: Dr Z A Taylor

The potential impact of surgical simulators on medical training is comparable to that of flight simulators on pilot training. However, central to the effectiveness of any simulator as a training tool is its realism. Accurate and robust physical models of the organs and other soft tissues are therefore required to give realistic visual and haptic feedback to the user. And all of this must be achieved in real-time.

Solution of the physical model usually requires a computation mesh of some kind, e.g. for finite element solution, and these are difficult to construct for biological structures. Further difficulties arise when we want to simulate cutting, as this involves changing the mesh during the simulation. Mesh-free methods avoid these problems since they do not require meshes in the usual sense, and they may be of enormous utility in this application. However, they are less reliable than finite element methods and are even slower. In this project you will develop mesh-free algorithms and computation strategies that allow realistic surgical simulation at real-time rates.
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