Kitware Receives Funds from U.S. Air Force Research Lab to Extend the Bender Toolkit for Anatomical Model Repositioning

Kitware is pleased to announce a new Phase I SBIR award from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to further the state-of-the-art in anatomical model repositioning by funding the extension of Kitware’s Bender toolkit. The project aims to reduce the time required for anatomical model pose manipulation and for simulating anthropomorphic changes, such as an increase in body-mass index (BMI).

Kitware’s researchers will take a multi-step approach to enhancing Bender. They will begin by extending the toolkit to make use of freely available libraries of pose and motion data. Next, the user interface will be broadened to support the specification of changes in regional fat or muscle volumes so that the BMI of the model can be changed. Ultimately, real-time, GPU-based surgical simulation methods will be integrated to speed the computation of realistic anatomic dynamics.

In this Phase I effort, the research team will replace the dual-quaternion skinning capabilities already implemented in Bender with Kitware’s multi-grid solver in order to improve speed and reduce memory requirements while also providing more accurate motion models. Their work will build upon the linear and non-linear finite element modeling (FEM) solvers in the “Simulation Open Framework Architecture” (SOFA) toolkit for surgical simulation.

The primary result of this Phase I exploration and the planned Phase II development effort will be an intuitive program for performing voxelized anatomical model rigging, manipulation, and resampling.

“It is an honor that the Air Force sees the potential of Bender for generating anatomic model variations that can be used in a wide variety of civilian and military studies,” said Dr. Stephen Aylward, Kitware’s Senior Director of Operations, North Carolina. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to significantly extend Bender, while maintaining Bender’s open-source status. The proposed research and software developments will be freely available to all researchers in the medical and biological research communities.”

If you would like to learn more about Bender or Kitware’s Medical Computing expertise, and how it can be leveraged to benefit your organization, please contact kitware@kitware.com.

This work is supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory under Contract No. FA8650-13-C-6444. The views, opinions and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official Department of the Air Force position, policy or decision unless so designated by other documentation.

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