Research on Biomedical Engineering
Research on Biomedical Engineering
Original Article

Three-dimensional geometric model of the middle segment of the thoracic spine based on graphical images for finite element analysis

Aroeira, Rozilene Maria Cota; Pertence, Antônio Eustáquio de Melo; Kemmoku, Daniel Takanori; Greco, Marcelo

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Introduction: Biomedical studies involve complex anatomical structures, which require specific methodology to generate their geometric models. The middle segment of the thoracic spine (T5-T10) is the site of the highest incidence of vertebral deformity in adolescents. Traditionally, its geometries are derived from computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging data. However, this approach may restrict certain studies. The study aimed to generate two 3D geometric model of the T5-T10 thoracic spine segment, obtained from graphical images, and to create mesh for finite element studies. Methods: A 3D geometric model of T5-T10 was generated using two anatomical images of T6 vertebra (side and top). The geometric model was created in Autodesk® Maya® 3D 2013, and the mesh process in HiperMesh and MeshMixer (v11.0.544 Autodesk). Results: The T5-T10 thoracic segment model is presented with its passive components, bones, intervertebral discs and flavum, intertransverse and supraspinous ligaments, in different views, as well as the volumetric mesh. Conclusion: The 3D geometric model generated from graphical images is suitable for application in non-patient-specific finite element model studies or, with restrictions, in the use of computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. This model may be useful for biomechanical studies related to the middle thoracic spine, the most vulnerable site for vertebral deformations.    


Graphical modeling, Anatomic models, Thoracic spine, Finite element method.


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