E Mesa, J F Ramírez, P Boulanger, W F Bischof and J W Branch (2011). Influence of Material Property Model and Geometry on the Precision of a Finite Element Simulation to Predict the Deformation of Silicone Rubber. In VIII Congreso Colombiano de Metodos Numericos, 14 pages, Medellin, Colombia. July 2011. EAFIT Press.

The realistic simulation of tool-tissue interactions is required for the development of surgical simulators. In this paper, we estimate the material properties of a silicone rubber with mechanical properties similar to brain tissue, by performing a standard compression test. Using the estimated parameters, we performed different finite element simulations of needle indentation into a block of the same tissue. We investigated the effect of material model (Neo-Hookean and Second Order Reduced Polynomial) and modeling space (3D and axisymmetric geometries) on the accuracy of the simulation. We demonstrated that material model, space and their interaction have a significant effect on the accuracy of the simulations. The most accurate combination corresponds to a 3D simulation using a reduced polynomial model. However, even for none-axisymmetric geometries, one can sacrifice some accuracy and use a simpler and faster modeling space (i.e. axisymmetric), at least for the simulations considered here, given a change in the modeling space has a smaller effect on accuracy than a change in the material property model.

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