The advent of small footprint stereo-lithographic printers and the ready availability of segmentation and surface modeling software provide a unique opportunity to create patient-specific physical models of anatomy, validation of image guided intervention applications against phantoms that exhibit naturally occurring anatomic variation. Because these models can incorporate all structures relevant to a procedure, this allows validation to occur under realistic conditions using the same or similar techniques as would be used in a clinical application. This in turn reduces the number of trials and time spent performing in-vivo validation experiments. In this paper, we describe our general approach for the creation of both non-tissue and tissue-mimicking patient-specific models as part of a general-purpose patient emulation system used to validate image guided intervention applications.
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