Work on the measurement and analysis of structures through interactive immersive visualization is featured on the cover of the Fourth Quarter 2006, Volume 28, Issue 4, of Biomaterials Forum, the news magazine of the Society for Biomaterials. John Hagedorn, Adele Peskin, John Kelso, and Judith Devaney Terrill, all of the NIST Mathematical and Computational Sciences Division, and Joy Dunkers, of the NIST Polymers Division (pictured on the cover), describe their work in the featured article, "Quantitative, Interactive Measurement of Tissue Engineering Scaffold Structure in an Immersive Visualization Environment." The team developed a software system that enables the measurement and analysis of tissue engineering scaffold materials from three dimensional images that were generated from X-ray micro-computed tomography, segmented and converted to a polygonal representation. Using this system, the researchers compared an "as designed" scaffold with a manufactured scaffold to determine differences in strut properties.
Essential to this work is the use of an immersive visualization (virtual reality) system that gives researchers the ability to interact directly with data representations in ways that are not possible with desktop systems. Structures can be inspected, and measurements can be made and analyzed, during the immersive session. Using these measurements, researchers can assess the fidelity of actual scaffolds to the design model and evaluate scaffold manufacturing processes. The paper describes future directions for more automatic measurement techniques for three-dimensional images, and the role of immersive visualization in understanding and evaluating these techniques.
Contact: Judith E. Terrill