Modeling and hexahedral meshing of arterial networks from centerlines

by   Méghane Decroocq, et al.

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation provides valuable information on blood flow from the vascular geometry. However, it requires to extract accurate models of arteries from low resolution medical images, which remains challenging. Centerline-based representation is widely used to model large vascular networks with small vessels, as it enables manual editing and encodes the topological information. In this work, we propose an automatic method to generate an hexahedral mesh suitable for CFD directly from centerlines. The proposed method is an improvement of the state-of-the-art in terms of robustness, mesh quality and reproductibility. Both the modeling and meshing tasks are addressed. A new vessel model based on penalized splines is proposed to overcome the limitations inherent to the centerline representation, such as noise and sparsity. Bifurcations are reconstructed using a physiologically accurate parametric model that we extended to planar n-furcations. Finally, a volume mesh with structured, hexahedral and flow oriented cells is produced from the proposed vascular network model. The proposed method offers a better robustness and mesh quality than the state-of-the-art methods. As it combines both modeling and meshing techniques, it can be applied to edit the geometry and topology of vascular models effortlessly to study the impact on hemodynamics. We demonstrate the efficiency of our method by entirely meshing a dataset of 60 cerebral vascular networks. 92% of the vessels and 83% of the bifurcations where mesh without defects needing manual intervention, despite the challenging aspect of the input data. The source code will be released publicly.


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