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Primal Pictures 3D Human Anatomy Medical Software

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The Human Body Anatomy

Example Used: The Human Hand 

STAGE ONE: Scanning the Upper Limb 

We worked with The Herchel Smith Laboratory for Medicinal Chemistry based at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, UK. Prof. Laurie Hall, the group's head, has specialized in micro-MRI of joints to track action of drugs on the articular surfaces of bones. His work is used particularly in the development of drugs to combat arthritis and rheumatism. Until our approach to him, however, Prof. Hall's work had not been used as the basis of 3D imagery for medical education. The Herchel Smith Laboratory build their own scanners and the magnetic coils into which subjects are placed for scanning. It was decided that the best way to achieve optimum resolution was to fix a hand and arm inside a precise jig which would sit neatly inside the coil.

The jig would be cast in fiberglass from a precision mold of the subject's hand and arm. Into this, the entire limb could be fixed tightly into place and, using fixing pegs within the coil, the jig could be relocated with precision for repeat scans. Maximum resolution transverse slices at 5mm intervals were acquired across hand and arm, equating to between 50 and 60 slices. This sequence was optimized for segmentation by hand of muscles and tendons (see stage two).

One of our own employees supplied the hand and arm for the scanning, which meant, in practice, sitting with his arm in the jig for hours on end to achieve the required resolution. Slight cramp was the only temporary side effect!

STAGE TWO: 3D Reconstruction 

The imaging data is then processed at Primal Pictures. The data is delivered as 2D cross-sectional slices.
Each slice then goes through a segmentation process. This involves outlining by hand individual tissue and tracking the contours of each anatomical feature through successive slices.

These contours create a wire-frame 3D model for each anatomical structure. These structures are then amalgamated stage by stage into an accurate CAD-CAM model of the complete anatomy.

In turn, this model is fed into computer graphics systems and put through a "texture-mapping" process, a procedure which adds texture, color, shadows and depth to the 3D model.

This model is then "rendered", the final process whereby individual full color frames are created. When the user moves from frame to frame, the impression is gained to moving around a 3D object. 

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