The interdisciplinary research field of biomechanical modeling deals with the computer-aided modeling of anatomical structures of the human body. The research project SEE-KID (Software Engineering Environment for Knowledge based Interactive eye motility Diagnostics) focuses on the virtual representation of the extraocular apparatus in the sense of a functional model of eye motility for the application in the field of ophthalmology.

Looking at the history of the model development within the field of strabismus, a noticeable strong mathematical implication and complexity is revealed. Particularly in theory and training in the area of ophthalmology, a detailed understanding for the mechanics of eye movements as well as the functional connections of the anatomy of the movement apparatus regarding diagnosis and therapy of eye motility disorders is of high importance. The computer-aided simulation system SEE++ is developed as an integral part of the research project SEE-KID. It enables the interactive computer simulation and graphically three-dimensional visualization of eye motility disorders as well as the prediction of effects of applied surgeries based on selected standard models of a „healthy“ reference eye. In this way, a surgeon can already conceive the trend of a muscle-surgical intervention at the computer and thus determine the respective optimal treatment for a patient. Multiple operations are to be avoided by thorough modeling of eye motility disorders to gain understanding of the underlying mechanisms.

Biomechanical modeling is defined as a subsection of mechanics, examining effects of dynamic force relations of the human body. The basis for the implementation of such models is the combination of disciplines of physics with special fields of biology and physiology. In the broadest sense, studying mechanical properties of the human body with the help of mathematical-physical methods can also be assigned to the scientific discipline of bioinformatics.

For the quality of a biomechanical model, characteristics of clinical results and dynamic expandability are of greatest importance. An existing model cannot be considered relevant, unless the functional characteristics correspond tendentiously with clinical experiences. Furthermore, the model structure is to be arranged in such a way that the incorporation of new physiological or biological findings will not invalidate the behavior of the current formulation. In order to be able to realize such structures in a computer-assisted model, additional methods of software engineering need to be applied.

The SEE++ simulation system offers:

  • compact, descriptive and thus well understandable knowledge transfer in teaching and training,
  • scientifically oriented procedures,
  • exploration of basic principles supported by numerous examples,
  • a basis for individual considerations of diagnostics and surgical correction of eye motility disorders.

SEE++ is suitable for many people:

  • Ophthalmologists, specialists as well as orthoptics can use SEE++ to support measurements and to archive pathologies and treatment methods.
  • Researchers in the field of ophthalmology, strabismology and neurology, pediatrists as well as researchers in the field of biophysics use SEE++ as an extensive scientific tool for the investigation of the mechanics of eye movements.
  • SEE++ offers a substantial support to teachers through descriptive representation for understanding eye movements.
  • Students have the possibility to interactively deepen their knowledge about (previously studied) fundamentals of eye movement and strabismus.

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