Ultrasound Image Simulation with GPU-based Ray Tracing

Yuen C. Law, Sebastian Ullrich, Thomas Knott, Torsten Kuhlen
Virtual Reality Group, RWTH Aachen University, Seffenter Weg 23, 52074 Aachen
Virtuelle und Erweiterte Realitat, 8. Workshop der GI-Fachgruppe VR/AR, September. pp. 183-194, 2011


   title={Ultrasound Image Simulation with GPU-based Ray Tracing},

   author={Law, Y.C. and Ullrich, S. and Knott, T. and Kuhlen, T. and Weg, S.},



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Medical simulators are gaining importance because the experience and skills necessary to perform many of the medical procedures are difficult to obtain due to patient safety and ethical issues. With the development of graphic cards, stereographic and haptic devices, more VR-based simulators are being created. We are developing an interactive ultrasound image simulation that include deformations and needle visualization as part of a training simulator for the application of regional anesthesia. In this paper, we present a new method for rendering the simulated images directly from 3D polygonal meshes, i.e., it does not use volume data, as presented in most of the previous works. This approach will allow us to apply and render deformations with common physics-based mesh solutions. To improve interactivity, we adapt a ray tracing approach using general programming GPU (GPGPU) methods, taking advantage of parallelism in modern graphic cards. We present the results of performance measurements conducted to test the scalability of our approach.
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