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Surgical Simulations You Can Bet On

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MR images

Credit: Cornell Pediatrics

University of Texas at Austin (UT) researchers are working with Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) supercomputers to facilitate prospective planning for near-term surgeries. "Computation in biomedical science makes it a little bit different than other types of scientific computing, as it is very memory intensive and has very long cycles," says TACC liaison Oscar Jiao.

Using a U.S. National Science Foundation grant, the researchers are developing treatment planning protocols for the brain. Laser surgery for the brain involves many variables, including blood flow, optical properties, material properties, and thermal conductivity inside the body. "The more data and images that can be acquired, the more confidence researchers and surgeons can have in planning surgical simulations," says UT professor David Fuentes.

The researchers, working in collaboration with Rice University scientists, are adapting supercomputing technology onto a portable system for operating rooms. "We want to go bigger and see what we can do to push it — the next thing is to use a multiple [graphics processing unit] simulation on a cluster," Fuentes says.

From Texas Advanced Computing Center
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