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Upper airway segmentation and airflow simulation

Key Investigators

Project Description

We want to do some airflow simulations in a finite element software but we didn’t managed to import the 3D upper airway models which we made in the Slicer.


  1. Smooth the 3D models
  2. Import the models successfully to the finite element software and mesh them
  3. Do some airflow simulations

Approach and Plan

  1. Describe specific steps of what you plan to do to achieve the above described objectives.

Progress and Next Steps

Potential solutions identified:

A. Fix up STL

B. Create volumetric mesh directly in Slicer, from segmentation - using SegmentMesher module. Cleaver works directly from labelmap, therefore it is robust and guaranteed to always generate valid mesh. We can save .vtk or .vtu that is note directly readable in Comsol. Convert FE mesh to compatible format:

C. Use FeBIO solver

Open-source. Free for research use. Pre/post view available with nice GUI. Can directly read FE mesh saved in Slicer.

It supports airflow analysis and fluid-structure interactions. See overview and applications in upper airway mechanics:


I managed to smooth the models with surface toolbox and successfully imported this to the finite element software.


There were some incorrect elements in the model so i used Meshlab and Meshmixer to inspect them.



Finally i managed to do some airflow simulations in Comsol.



Background and References