We propose a novel method to simulate soft tissue deformation for virtual surgery applications. The method considers the mechanical properties of soft tissue, such as its viscoelasticity, nonlinearity and incompressibility; its speed, stability and accuracy also meet the requirements for a surgery simulator. Modifying the traditional equation for mass spring dampers (MSD) introduces nonlinearity and viscoelasticity into the calculation of elastic force. Then, the elastic force is used in the constraint projection step for naturally reducing constraint potential. The node position is enforced by the combined spring force and constraint conservative force through Newton’s second law. We conduct a comparison study of conventional MSD and position-based dynamics for our new integrating method. Our approach enables stable, fast and large step simulation by freely controlling visual effects based on nonlinearity, viscoelasticity and incompressibility. We implement a laparoscopic cholecystectomy simulator to demonstrate the practicality of our method, in which liver and gallbladder deformation can be simulated in real time. Our method is an appropriate choice for the development of real-time virtual surgery applications.
Xu, L., Lu, Y., & Liu, Q. (2018). Integrating viscoelastic mass spring dampers into position-based dynamics to simulate soft tissue deformation in real time. Royal Society Open Science, 5(2). https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.171587