Automating Biomedical Computational Modeling: Research of Methods to Manipulate Cartilage Geometry on Three-Dimensional Model of the Knee Joint

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Engineering


Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering

Faculty Sponsor

Clare Fitzpatrick


Computer modeling is increasingly prevalent in the medical field. In the Computational Biosciences Lab (CBL), we generate 3D models from magnetic resonance (MR) images to address clinical issues on a subject-specific basis. Within the knee joint, cartilage tissue lines the surfaces of bones and must be reproduced accurately in our simulations to appropriately capture load transfer and cartilage stresses. Using computer modeling programs, we can create a 3D model and transform it a mesh. The cartilage mesh compromised of a series of nodes and elements. By identifying the nodes on the edges of the cartilage, the geometry of these handles can then be manipulated to curve down towards the bone. However, the resulting cartilage mesh typically has a sharp angular edge, which can cause significant mesh distortion. When the cartilage is loaded near these regions, the distorted edge causes artificial peaks in stress and may “catch” on adjacent structures. Our goal was to replace the manual process with an automated way to create a more natural curve to the cartilage as it transitions into the bone. This will be used in ongoing research in the CBL to observe the impact of injuries on the knee and evaluate the efficiency of surgical methods to these injuries.

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