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Simulating Dynamics of Thoracolumbar Spine Derived from Life MOD under Haptic Forces

Authors: K. T. Huynh, I. Gibson, W. F. Lu, B. N. Jagdish


In this paper, the construction of a detailed spine model is presented using the LifeMOD Biomechanics Modeler. The detailed spine model is obtained by refining spine segments in cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions into individual vertebra segments, using bushing elements representing the intervertebral discs, and building various ligamentous soft tissues between vertebrae. In the sagittal plane of the spine, constant force will be applied from the posterior to anterior during simulation to determine dynamic characteristics of the spine. The force magnitude is gradually increased in subsequent simulations. Based on these recorded dynamic properties, graphs of displacement-force relationships will be established in terms of polynomial functions by using the least-squares method and imported into a haptic integrated graphic environment. A thoracolumbar spine model with complex geometry of vertebrae, which is digitized from a resin spine prototype, will be utilized in this environment. By using the haptic technique, surgeons can touch as well as apply forces to the spine model through haptic devices to observe the locomotion of the spine which is computed from the displacement-force relationship graphs. This current study provides a preliminary picture of our ongoing work towards building and simulating bio-fidelity scoliotic spine models in a haptic integrated graphic environment whose dynamic properties are obtained from LifeMOD. These models can be helpful for surgeons to examine kinematic behaviors of scoliotic spines and to propose possible surgical plans before spine correction operations.

Keywords: Haptic interface, LifeMOD, spine modeling.

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