3D Interactive Solution for Neuroanatomy Education

Mythri V


Typically, anatomy is taught through dissection, 2D images, presentations, and cross-sections. While these methods are convenient, they are non-interactive and fail to capture the spatial relationships and functional aspects of anatomy. New visualization technologies such as virtual reality and 3D can compensate for the impediments and provide better understanding while captivating the students. With recent advances in the industry, the methods to provide a 3D experience are economical. In this thesis, we introduce a low-cost 3D-interactive anatomy system designed for an audience of typical medical college students in an anatomy class. The setup used to achieve 3D visualization is Dual projector polarization. While there are other ways to achieve 3D visualization, like alternate frame sequencing and virtual reality, this technique can target a large audience and requires minimum accessories for the setup enabling this to be a low-cost solution for an immersive 3D experience. The 3D interactive Neuroanatomy solution is an end-to-end framework capable of designing anatomy lessons and visualizing the 3D stereoscopic projection of those anatomy lessons. To ensure superior comprehension of students, we incorporate each teacher’s unique teaching approach while developing anatomy lessons by providing the ability to create their own lessons. We have created anatomy lessons based on the human brain which is a vital organ and has a complex anatomy. Our aim is to help medical students to understand the complexity of organ systems from not just an anatomical perspective but also a radiological perspective. We use annotations on clinical case data such as MRI, MRA, etc., to create 3D models for anatomy visualization incorporating clinical information and illustrating real cases. Annotations for structures of interest are done using manual, automatic, and semi-automatic segmentation methods. Manual delineation of the structure boundaries is very tedious and time-consuming. Automatic segmentation is quick and convenient. However, manual annotations were done for the 3D anatomy viewer for small and complex structures due to substandard automatic segmentation. There is a need to improve automatic segmentation performance for those structures. While segmentation is an essential step in 3D modeling, it plays a critical role in many neurological disease diagnoses as well, which are associated with degradation in the sub-cortical region. Therefore accurate algorithms are needed for sub-cortical structure segmentation. Variance in the size of structures is significant, which introduces a performance bias towards larger structures in many deep learning approaches. In this part of the thesis, we aim to remove size bias in sub-cortical structure segmentation. The proposed method addresses this problem with a pre-training step used to learn tissue characteristics, an ROI extraction step that aids in focusing on the local context, and using structure ROIs elevates the influence of smaller structures in the network.

Year of completion:  April 2023
 Advisor : Jayanthi Sivaswamy

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