The purpose of this work is the development of a 3D deformable model of the spinal lumbar region. The data for the spine comes from the National Library of Medicine website (NLM). The 3D model uses several NURBS patches as modeling primitives. This work is part of a larger system aimed at building a 3D surgical simulator coupled with a force - feedback.PHANToM robot in a virtual reality CA VE system.

The input to this system is a set of two-dimensional CT images. They are processed and edge detected to produce a set of contoured images containing the vertebral data. The 3D model is then built using AMIRA, a 3D modeling engine based on Open Inventor and Open GL. The outcome is then exported to Rhino3D, a NURBS modeling software for Windows where the model is covered with NURBS patches. The spinal model is then deformed through the use of several NURBS control points. Spinal diseases that deform the spine are then classified into five shapes of deformities. These deformations are created using Rhino3D for disease progress tracking to aid in training.

Two spinal models were produced, one with no discs and one with discs. A third model of the disc was created separately from colored photos. The results look very promising as stated by outside professional medical consultation. As for the disease deformation using Rhino3D, the process of modeling these diseases was successful although it was very tedious since shape modification was carried out through the manipulation of control points.


School of Sciences and Engineering

Date of Award


Online Submission Date


First Advisor

Ahmed Sameh

Committee Member 1

Nevine Darwish

Committee Member 2

Amr Goneid

Committee Member 3

Hoda Hosny

Document Type



121 leaves :

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Three-dimensional display systems.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2


Library of Congress Subject Heading 3

Calvino, Italo;Antonioni, Michelangelo


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

Call Number

Thesis 2002/36