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Int J Numer Method Biomed Eng. 2018 May 9:e3103. doi: 10.1002/cnm.3103. [Epub ahead of print]

A machine learning approach as a surrogate of finite element analysis-based inverse method to estimate the zero-pressure geometry of human thoracic aorta.

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Tissue Mechanics Laboratory, The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.


Advances in structural finite element analysis (FEA) and medical imaging have made it possible to investigate the in vivo biomechanics of human organs such as blood vessels, for which organ geometries at the zero-pressure level need to be recovered. Although FEA-based inverse methods are available for zero-pressure geometry estimation, these methods typically require iterative computation, which are time-consuming and may be not suitable for time-sensitive clinical applications. In this study, by using machine learning (ML) techniques, we developed an ML model to estimate the zero-pressure geometry of human thoracic aorta given 2 pressurized geometries of the same patient at 2 different blood pressure levels. For the ML model development, a FEA-based method was used to generate a dataset of aorta geometries of 3125 virtual patients. The ML model, which was trained and tested on the dataset, is capable of recovering zero-pressure geometries consistent with those generated by the FEA-based method. Thus, this study demonstrates the feasibility and great potential of using ML techniques as a fast surrogate of FEA-based inverse methods to recover zero-pressure geometries of human organs.


finite element analysis; machine learning; neural network; zero-pressure geometry


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