Image-based vs. mesh-based statistical appearance models of the human femur: implications for finite element simulations

Serena Bonaretti*, Christof Seiler, Christelle Boichon, Mauricio Reyes, Philippe Büchler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Statistical appearance models have recently been introduced in bone mechanics to investigate bone geometry and mechanical properties in population studies. The establishment of accurate anatomical correspondences is a critical aspect for the construction of reliable models. Depending on the representation of a bone as an image or a mesh, correspondences are detected using image registration or mesh morphing. The objective of this study was to compare image-based and mesh-based statistical appearance models of the femur for finite element (FE) simulations. To this aim, (i) we compared correspondence detection methods on bone surface and in bone volume; (ii) we created an image-based and a mesh-based statistical appearance models from 130 images, which we validated using compactness, representation and generalization, and we analyzed the FE results on 50 recreated bones vs. original bones; (iii) we created 1000 new instances, and we compared the quality of the FE meshes. Results showed that the image-based approach was more accurate in volume correspondence detection and quality of FE meshes, whereas the mesh-based approach was more accurate for surface correspondence detection and model compactness. Based on our results, we recommend the use of image-based statistical appearance models for FE simulations of the femur.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1626-35
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Engineering & Physics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Computer Simulation
  • Female
  • Femur/anatomy & histology
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Organ Size
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


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