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Project status: In progress
Researchers within the Medical Physics group work on a variety of projects involving the construction of 3D finite element models from two dimensional medical images. The finite element models are then used to analyse the mechanical properties of the original structures.
This research involves the creation of a 3D finite element model from a three-vertebra segment within a QCT scan.
One such project involves the creation of a 3D model of the proximal femur (hip bone) from a single 2D X-ray image. An initial 3D template mesh is created of an averaged bone configuration, including landmarks for matching the scanned image. Corresponding landmarks are identified on the single X-ray image, and the averaged 3D model is then warped so that the landmarks align.
This creates a model better matched to an individual's unique bone structure without the need for excessive, expensive, or invasive scans. The model may be used to assess treatment strategies, or in the case of children, to assess growth and development.
Another Quantitative Bone Imaging and Characterisation (QBIC) project aims to produce a computer simulation of two orthopedic techniques used on damaged spinal vertebrae: Vertebroplasty and Balloon Kyphoplasty. This research involves the creation of a 3D finite element model from a three-vertebra segment within a QCT scan. The model is then used to simulate the injection of a bone-substitute material, and, in the case of the kyphoplasty, to simulate an inflated balloon within the vertebra via a spherical load.
The aim of this project is predict which patients would be at high risk of adjacent vertebral fracture.