tutorial 3
T3  Towards the Virtual Physiological Human

Date: Tuesday, September 4th, Time: 09:00 - 12:30, Location: Lecture Room 209

Organizer:  Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann (MIRALab/University of Geneva)
Speakers:  Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann (MIRALab/University of Geneva)
Benjamin Gilles (MIRALab/University of Geneva)
Hervé Delingette (INRIA, Asclepios)
Andrea Giachetti (CRS4, Visual computing group)
Marco Agus (CRS4, Visual computing group)


The objective of this tutorial is to train students and researchers in the various domains involving the modelling and simulation of the human body for medical purposes. Human body representations have been used for centuries to help in understanding and documenting the shape and function of its compounding parts. Since the Da Vinci drawings, human body atlases have evolved a lot, and can nowadays describe the human anatomy with great precision. How the body works: its systems and their functions, the mechanics of human motion, the pathological and healing processes, growing and ageing are some among the many topics being studied and described for years in different domains of science, from the medical field to computer graphics. Nowadays, medical acquisition devices especially medical scanners are able to produce a large amount of information, such as high-resolution volumes, temporal sequences or functional images, more-and-more difficult to analyse and visualise. In other words, we measure much more than we understand. In this context, higher-level information such as anatomical and functional models is increasingly required to support diagnosis and treatment. Three levels of complexity can be distinguished (geometry, function and control) where modelling and simulation methods take place. In this tutorial we will present the current research issues towards the precise (patient-specific) reconstruction of virtual models and their functional simulation. We will focus on the computer graphics aspects involved in medical modelling/ simulation: deformable model-based segmentation, mesh optimisation, data fusion, interactive mechanical simulation, cost-efficient visualisation, etc. Examples will be given in the musculoskeletal, cardiac and neurological domains.




  1. Tutorial overview (15 min)

    Speaker: Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann

    • Presentation of authors/ institutions
    • Medical context and problematic
    • General aspects of medical acquisition, image processing, modelling and simulation domains

  2. Anatomical and kinematical reconstruction from medical data (50 min)

    Speakers: Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann, Benjamin Gilles, Hervé Delingette

    • Presentation of medical acquisition modalities: medical imaging, motion capture, 3D body scanner, acquisition of mechanical physiological parameters.
    • Review of medical image segmentation and registration techniques: from direct to physically-based segmentation, focussing on deformable models-based approaches.
    • Issues in fusing multimodal data: registration of anatomical and functional data, knowledge management.
    • Issues in converting anatomical models to functional models: creation of volumetric models, unknown parameters estimation.

  3. Physically-based simulation of biological tissues (50 min)

    Speakers: Hervé Delingette, Marco Agus, Andrea Giachetti

    • Basics in continuum mechanics and formulations for biological tissue.
    • Discretisation techniques: finite elements, finite volumes, boundary elements, particle systems.
    • Dynamic evolution of soft tissues and numerical integration.
    • Coupling with physiological data: handling different levels of complexity.
    • Towards realistic interactive soft-tissue simulation.
    • Realistic and interactive rigid and quasi-rigid object simulation.
    • Issues in haptic simulation wrt. visual simulation.

  4. Medical visualisation and applications (50 min)

    Speakers: Marco Agus, Andrea Giachetti, Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann

    • Medical data rendering techniques: volume rendering, large models visualisation, non-photorealistic rendering, stereoscopic visualisation, introduction of timing constraints, non-standard visualisation on future displays.
    • Interaction techniques for medical applications: automatic camera control (virtual endoscopy), haptic interfaces.
    • Techniques for analysing functional models: morphological analysis for diagnosis and pre-operative planning, inter-subject comparisons, longitudinal studies, flow simulation.
    • Integration of computer-aided diagnosis/ surgical tools into the clinical environment.

  5. Conclusion and discussion (15 min)

    Speakers: Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann, Benjamin Gilles, Hervé Delingette, Andrea Giachetti, Marco Agus

    • What is still missing?
    • Questions from audience
    • Closing remarks

Speakers' Background

Prof. Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann has pioneered research into virtual humans over the last 25 years. She obtained several Bachelor's and Master's degrees in various disciplines (Psychology, Biology and Chemistry)and a PhD in Quantum Physics from the University of Geneva. From 1977 to 1989, she was a Professor at the University of Montrealwhere shefounded the research lab MIRALab. She was elected Woman of the Year in the Grand Montreal for herpioneering workon virtual humans and presented the artistic part of her work at the Modern Art Museum of New York in 1988. She moved to the University of Geneva in 1989, where she founded the Swiss MIRALab, an internationally interdisciplinary lab composed of about 30 researchers. With her PhD students, she hasauthored and coauthored more than 300 research papers and books in the field of modeling virtual humans, interacting with them and living in augmented life. She has received several scientific and artistic awards for her work, mainly on the Virtual Marylin and the film Rendez-vous a Montreal, but more recently, she has been elected to the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences, and has also been nominated as a Swiss personality who has contributed to the advance of science in the 150 years history CD-ROM produced by the Swiss Confederation Parliament. She has directed and produced several films and real-time mixed reality shows, among the latest are Dreams of a Mannequin (2003), The Augmented Life in Pompeii (2005) and The Xian Terra Cotta Soldiers (2007). She is presently taking partin more than a dozen of European and National Swiss research projects andis the coordinator of the Network of Excellence (NoE) Intermedia, the coordinator of the European Research Project Haptex and the coordinator of the European Research training network Marie Curie 3D Anatomical Humans. She is editor-in-chief of the Visual Computer Journal published by Springer Verlag and co-editor-in-chief of the journal Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds published by Wiley. She also participated to political events as to the World Economic Forum in Davos where she was invited to give several talks and seminars.

Benjamin Gilles has obtained his Engineering and Master's degree in 2002 at the French National Institute of Applied Science (INSA) in Lyon. He is now a research assistant at MIRALab, working on medical image segmentation based on deformable models.

Hervé Delingette is currently a research director in the Asclepios research group at the INRIA research center in Sophia Antipolis and is leading the INRIA research action CardioSense3D on cardiac modelling. He received in 1989 a Master degree and in 1994 a PhD degree from the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures de Paris, (France) and was habilitated in 2006. From 1989 until 1992, he was a Visiting Scientist at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the Human Interface Laboratory of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT). His research interests are in the fields of medical image analysis, image segmentation, soft tissue modelling, surgery simulation and computational models of the human body. He authored many papers in those fields and co-chaired the First Symposium on Surgery Simulation and Soft Tissue Modeling in 2003.

Marco Agus is a researcher of the Visual Computing (ViC) group at CRS4. He received a M.Sc. degree in Electronic Engineering (1999) and a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering (2004) from the University of Cagliari (UniCa). His main research interests are related to computer graphics and scientific visualization, haptic simulation, and physically based simulation, with strong focus on surgical simulation for training. Marco published in major international refereed journals and received awards for his contributions to haptic research, specifically in the derivation and calibration of physically- based models for surgical tasks involving hard tissues (bone deburring). He served as program committee member and reviewer for international conferences and journals.

Andrea Giachetti is currently associate professor of Compute Science at the University of Verona. He also works with CRS4 collaborating with BioMedical Applications and Visual Computing groups. He received a M.Sc. degree in Physics (1993) and a Ph.D. degree in Physics (1997) from the University of Genova. His research interests are in the fields of Computer Vision, medical image analysis, image segmentation and 3D reconstruction and visualization and authored many papers in these fields.

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Last update : 12.05.2011

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