Harnessing the GPU for Real-Time Haptic Tissue Simulation

C. E. Etheredge, E. E. Kunst, A. J. B. Sanders
University of Twente
Journal of Computer Graphics Techniques, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2013


   title={Harnessing the GPU for Real-Time Haptic Tissue Simulation},

   author={Etheredge, CE and Kunst, EE and Sanders, AJB},



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Virtual surgery simulators are emerging as a training method for medical specialists and are expected to provide a virtual environment that is realistic and responsive enough to be able to physically simulate a wide variety of medical scenarios. Haptic interaction with the environment requires an underlying physical model that is dynamic, deformable, and computable in real-time at very high frame rates. By harnessing the GPU, we are able to simulate an environment with soft volumetric tissue that supports real-time deformation and two-way haptic interaction. In particular, we present a parallel algorithm that uses a volumetric mass-spring model to simulate this environment, implemented using NVIDIA CUDA. Our algorithm is implemented and used as an integral part of Virtual Competence Training Area (VICTAR), an extendable virtual surgery simulation software framework by Vrest Medical. We show that our method is capable of simulating a model with over 100 K masses at 1000 Hz on NVIDIA Tesla C2050. We also discuss the scalability and potential future applications of the algorithm.
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