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Neuroimage. 2011 Mar 1;55(1):153-64. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.11.013. Epub 2010 Nov 10.

The generation of tetrahedral mesh models for neuroanatomical MRI.

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Department of Mathematics, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90025, USA.


In this article, we describe a detailed method for automatically generating tetrahedral meshes from 3D images having multiple region labels. An adaptively sized tetrahedral mesh modeling approach is described that is capable of producing meshes conforming precisely to the voxelized regions in the image. Efficient tetrahedral mesh improvement is then performed minimizing an energy function containing three terms: a smoothing term to remove the voxelization, a fidelity term to maintain continuity with the image data, and a novel elasticity term to prevent the tetrahedra from becoming flattened or inverted as the mesh deforms while allowing the voxelization to be removed entirely. The meshing algorithm is applied to structural MR image data that has been automatically segmented into 56 neuroanatomical sub-divisions as well as on two other examples. The resulting tetrahedral representation has several desirable properties such as tetrahedra with dihedral angles away from 0 and 180 degrees, smoothness, and a high resolution. Tetrahedral modeling via the approach described here has applications in modeling brain structure in normal as well as diseased brain in human and non-human data and facilitates examination of 3D object deformations resulting from neurological illness (e.g. Alzheimer's disease), development, and/or aging.

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