3D Algorithm for Simulation of Soft Tissue Cutting
Modelling and simulation of soft tissue cutting in 3D remain one of the most challenging problems in surgery simulation, not only because of the nonlinear geometric and material behaviour exhibited by soft tissue but also due to the complexity of introducing the cutting-induced discontinuity. In most publications, the progressive surgical cutting is modelled by conventional finite element (FE) method, in which the high computational cost and error accumulation due to re-meshing constrain the computational efficiency and accuracy. In this paper, a meshless Total Lagrangian Adaptive Dynamic Relaxation (MTLADR) 3D cutting algorithm is proposed to predict the steady-state responses of soft tissue at any stage of surgical cutting in 3D. The MTLADR 3D algorithm features a spatial discretisation using a cloud of nodes. With the benefits of no meshing and no re-meshing, the cutting-induced discontinuity is modelled and simulated by adding nodes on the cutting faces and implementing the visibility criterion with the aid of the level set method. The accuracy of the MTLADR 3D cutting algorithm is verified against the established nonlinear solution procedures available in commercial FE software Abaqus.
The first author was supported by William & Marlene Schrader Postgraduate Scholarship. The financial support of the Australian Research Council (Discovery Grants No DP1092893 and DP120100402) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (Grant No. APP1006031) is gratefully acknowledged.
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