Worcester Polytechnic Institute Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection

Title page for ETD etd-043014-110503

Document Typedissertation
Author NameNoetscher, Gregory Michael
Email Address gregn at wpi.edu
TitleThe VHP-F Computational Phantom and its Applications for Electromagnetic Simulations
DepartmentElectrical & Computer Engineering
  • Sergey Makarov, Advisor
  • Mikhail Kozlov, Committee Member
  • Andrew Cavanaugh, Committee Member
  • Vishwanath Iyer, Committee Member
  • Ara Nazarian, Committee Member
  • Keywords
  • Computational electromagnetics
  • Numerical modeling
  • Human body modeling
  • Date of Presentation/Defense2014-05-01
    Availability unrestricted


    Modeling of the electromagnetic, structural, thermal, or acoustic response of the human body to various external and internal stimuli is limited by the availability of anatomically accurate and numerically efficient computational models. The models currently approved for use are generally of proprietary or fixed format, preventing new model construction or customization.

    1. This dissertation develops a new Visible Human Project Female (VHP-F) computational phantom, constructed via segmentation of anatomical cryosection images taken in the axial plane of the human body. Its unique property is superior resolution on human head. In its current form, the VHP-F model contains 33 separate objects describing a variety of human tissues within the head and torso. Each obejct is a non-intersecting 2-manifold model composed of contiguous surface triangular elements making the VHP-F model compatible with major commercial and academic numerical simulators employing the Finite Element Method (FEM), Boundary Element Method (BEM), Finite Volume Method (FVM), and Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) Method.

    2. This dissertation develops a new workflow used to construct the VHP-F model that may be utilized to build accessible custom models from any medical image data source. The workflow is customizable and flexible, enabling the creation of standard and parametrically varying models facilitating research on impacts associated with fluctuation of body characteristics (for example, skin thickness) and dynamic processes such as fluid pulsation.

    3. This dissertation identifies, enables, and quantifies three new specific computational bioelectromagnetic problems, each of which is solved with the help of the developed VHP-F model:

    I. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) of human brain motor cortex with extracephalic versus cephalic electrodes;

    II. RF channel characterization within cerebral cortex with novel small on-body directional antennas;

    III. Body Area Network (BAN) characterization and RF localization within the human body using the FDTD method and small antenna models with coincident phase centers.

    Each of those problems has been (or will be) the subject of a separate dedicated MS thesis.

  • gnoetscher.pdf

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