Friday, April 6, 2018

URSP Student Bassam Mutawak Creates a Patient-Specific 3D Biomechanical Model of Eyes

Researchers develop and use various models to increase their understanding on a specific topic. In the field of Bioengineering, models are normally used to understand how and why certain functions in the body occur. The idea of transforming something complex into a model that can be easier to understand is what first got me interested in Biomechanics.

For my OSCAR project, I will be creating patient-specific 3D biomechanical models of the left and right eyes. The purpose of these models is to help medical professionals understand why a certain patient suffers from an ocular defect known as strabismus, and possibly suggest surgical corrections that could improve the patient’s condition. The goal of each model is to be as realistically close to the patient’s actual eyes as possible. This would also allow medical professionals to have a “dry run” at correcting the patient’s condition. As most are aware, not all surgical procedures are successful; so this model would be a great aid in increasing the success rate of these procedures.

I would normally begin a new patient’s dataset each week. For each dataset, the entire modeling process can be divided into three parts. The first part is tracing the required ocular muscles in several different viewpoints in order to understand where each muscle is located. The second step is combining all viewpoints into one static representation of a particular eye. Finally, towards the end of the week, I would begin the process of creating the dynamic 3D model.

When I first began working on this project, I was only interested in learning more about modeling. As I went through datasets and understood more about the goal of my project, I became aware of the impact it could have on people. This notion pushed me to work hard on this project for the benefit of those suffering from the condition.