We aim to achieve a fast and accurate three-dimensional (3D) simulation of a porcine liver deformation under a surgical tool pressure using the commercial finite element software Abaqus. The liver geometry is obtained using magnetic resonance imaging, and a nonlinear constitutive law is employed to capture large deformations of the tissue. Effects of implicit versus explicit analysis schemes, element type, and mesh density on computation time are studied. We find that Abaqus explicit and implicit solvers are capable of simulating nonlinear soft tissue deformations accurately using first-order tetrahedral elements in a relatively short time by optimizing the element size. This study provides new insights and guidance on accurate and relatively fast nonlinear soft tissue simulations. Such simulations can provide force feedback during robotic surgery and allow visualization of tissue deformations for surgery planning and training of surgical residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-310
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Robotic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Computational surgery
  • Mathematical models
  • Nonlinear constitutive model
  • Numerical simulations
  • Robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Health Informatics


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