Deformable models for surgical simulation: a survey

Jinao Zhang, Yongmin Zhong, Chengfan Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a survey of the state-of-the-art deformable models studied in the literature, with regard to soft tissue deformable modeling for interactive surgical simulation. It first introduces the challenges of surgical simulation, followed by discussions and analyses on the deformable models, which are classified into three categories: the heuristic modeling methodology, continuum-mechanical methodology, and other methodologies. It also examines linear and nonlinear deformable modeling, model internal forces, and numerical time integrations, together with modeling of soft tissue anisotropy, viscoelasticity, and compressibility. Finally, various issues in the existing deformable models are discussed to outline the remaining challenges of deformable models in surgical simulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8107531
Pages (from-to)143-164
Number of pages22
JournalIEEE Reviews in Biomedical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Deformable models
  • real-time systems
  • soft tissue deformation
  • surgical simulation
  • survey

Cite this