3D shape recovery of a newborn skull using thin-plate splines

R. J. A. Lapeer, R. W. Prager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this paper is to construct a mesh-model of a newborn skull for finite element analysis to study its deformation when subjected to the forces present during labour. The current state of medical imaging technology has reached a level which allows accurate visualisation and shape recovery of biological organs and body-parts. However, a sufficiently large set of medical images cannot always be obtained, often because of practical or ethical reasons, and the requirement to recover the shape of the biological object of interest has to be met by other means. Such is the case for a newborn skull. A method to recover the three-dimensional (3D) shape from (minimum) two orthogonal atlas images of the object of interest and a homologous object is described. This method is based on matching landmarks and curves on the orthogonal images of the object of interest with corresponding landmarks and curves on the homologous or ‘master’-object which is fully defined in 3D space. On the basis of this set of corresponding landmarks, a thin-plate spline function can be derived to warp from the ‘master’-object space to the ‘slave’-object space. This method is applied to recover the 3D shape of a newborn skull. Images from orthogonal view-planes are obtained from an atlas. The homologous object is an adult skull, obtained from CT-images made available by the Visible Human Project. After shape recovery, a mesh-model of the newborn skull is generated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-204
Number of pages12
JournalComputerized Medical Imaging and Graphics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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