Medical Engineering

In the field of medical imaging and surgery assistance, the last two decades were characterized by a considerable number of newly developed techniques and supportive instruments in an effort to quantify and improve processes in the medical, clinical and surgical context. Percutaneous, valvular and vascular devices enable increasingly effective surgical treatment. Simultaneously, imaging and segmentation techniques allow surgeons to obtain a clearer understanding of the morphologies of the organs and tissues they are operating on.

However, functional analysis is still mostly up to the experience of the surgeon, which obviously paved the way for surgeons to wish for patient-individual functional modeling and numerical simulation, in order to provide (virtual) insight into the operated organ and its behavior and functionality. FEM-based elasticity simulations may reveal the behavior of soft tissues subjected to external forces and momentums, e.g., during or after surgical manipulation; see the mitral valve annuloplasty example. Computational fluid dynamics or fluid structure interaction simulations can depict the flow behavior of, e.g., blood in the aorta, and hence allow for risk analysis in aortic aneurysms.

When integrated into surgical workflows, these simulations are of great value and support pre- and intra-operative surgery planning and intervention. For these scenarios, the EMCL contributes to interdisciplinary projects by assistance on various stages of the numerical simulation – from the mathematical modeling of a physical phenomenon, to its hardware-depending optimized implementation, over preprocessing, to postprocessing.