Shape reconstruction from medical images and quality mesh generation via implicit surfaces

J. Peiró, L. Formaggia, M. Gazzola, A. Radaelli, V. Rigamonti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ability of automatically reconstructing physiological shapes, of generating computational meshes, and of calculating flow solutions from medical images is enabling the introduction of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques as an additional tool to aid clinical practice. This article presents a set of procedures for the shape reconstruction and triangulation of geometries derived from a set of medical images representing planar cross sections of the object. The reconstruction of the shape of the boundary is based on the interpolation of an implicit function through a set of points obtained from the segmentation of the images. This approach is favoured for its ability of smoothly interpolating between sections of different topology. The boundary of the object is an iso-surface of the implicit function that is approximated by a triangulation extracted by the method of marching cubes. The quality of this triangulation is often neither suitable for mesh generation nor for flow solution. We discuss the use of mesh enhancement techniques to maximize the quality of the triangulation together with curvature adaption to optimize mesh resolution. The proposed methodology is applied to the reconstruction and discretization of two physiological geometries: a femoral by-pass graft and a nasal cavity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1339-1360
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids
Issue number8
StatePublished - Mar 20 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Implicit surfaces
  • Medical image processing
  • Mesh enhancement
  • Mesh generation
  • Radial basis functions
  • Shape reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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