Image processing and finite element modeling of C5-C6 segment
Leong, Wai Leng
Date of Issue2017-05-15
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
This project focuses on the topic on cervical spine and aims to develop a finite element model on C5 and C6 of the spinal cervical spine based on computed tomography (CT) of a degenerated female human spine. The cervical spine is crucial for bodily functions because it protects the spinal cord that allows messages to be sent from the brain to all aspects of the body. It also controls our bodily movements . The cervical spinal segment connects the head to the torso. There are two main functions of the cervical spine. Firstly, it acts as a protective safeguard to the spinal cord. Secondly, the cervical spine supports the head and allows movements. The cervical spine not only supports the weight of the head but also dictates its flexibility, rotations and movements. Although many research has been done on the cervical spine there is still a lack of method to diagnose patient-specific degenerated cervical spine. Therefore, there is a complusion to develop an intricate model of the cervical spine that can be used for analysis and diagnosis to predict the behavior of its various skeleton structures under a load. For my project, the focus is on the cervical spine, C5 and C6 spinal segment. The C5-C6 spinal segment, consist of the C5 and C6 vertebrae segment with the C5-C6 disc in between them. Due to its key roles in both the neck flexibility and support, the C5-C6 spinal segment is most susceptible to injuries and trauma which has the greatest impact on a person’s daily activities. Thus, it is of great importance to develop a 3D model to perform Finite Element Analysis on this spinal region. The software programmes used for converting the CT data to a Finite Element Model were ScanIP (Image processing software) and ANSYS. The 2D medical images (CT images) were first modelled in cross-sections, then into surfaces, after which areas were created from surfaces and finally constructed into volumes. The complicated anatomy and the resulted irregularity of the degenerated cervical spinal segment have led to many constraints and difficulties when developing the model. However, despite the numerous setbacks and difficulties, the model was developed successfully. The various methods and various limitations to develop the model will be discussed in the report. With the results obtained in this report, we can have a more comprehensive understanding of the degenerated cervical spine segment to facilitate future development of finite element analysis on the human spine. Our group has great confidence, that the use of patient specific cervical spinal model will greatly enhance the accuracy of prediction of diagnosis in the near future as the aging population starts to increase.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University