Projects:ShapeCorrespondence UNCOrthoApp

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Motivations: Clinical Applications in Orthodontics

We are aiming to develop methods to apply Shape Correspondence and Shape Analysis to the Orthodontic Clinical field. The main challenge this approach is the big amount of pre-processing required to adapt the current methods to the new data (until now, Shape Correspondence was applied almost entirely to brain morphometry studies). Different NAMIC Tools are used for this purpose, and also some tools have been already developed. Many others are under current development, but some desirable thing would be to merge all the tools in the same framework, in order our work can be useful in other applications.

Three projects are currently in progress:

  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Osteoarthritis (OA). Shape analysis used to localize and quantify the condylar morphological differences in the progression of the Temporomandibular Joint Osteoarthritic disease. The information obtained can be used in the clinical field to better elucidate the nature of the disease and therefore aim for a better treatment planning.
  • Asymmetry. Shape analysis is used to measure distances between an anatomical structure and its mirror is an approach to localize asymmetry and to quantify the left and right differences in the anatomy of interest (3D cephalometries). This information can be used in corrective surgery planning.
  • Skeletodental deformities corrective surgery. Test the changes in hard-tissue after corrective surgery for skeletal dento-facial deformities. Shape analysis can give useful stability information.

Key Investigators

  • UNC: Beatriz Paniagua
  • Supervision (UNC): Martin Styner
  • Clinical supervision (UNC): Lucia Cevidanes
  • Methodology and Programming Aid (UNC): Clement Vachet, Marc Niethammer, Ipek Oguz
  • Beta-testing and collaborations: Joost Jansen (Spain), Mark Walterfang (Australia)
  • Finite Element Meshing in Slicer: Curtis Lisle (KnowledgeVis/Isomics)


Trying to merge our tools into the Slicer3 program, providing to the clinical people a friendly framework to get the measurements that are currently obtained by people with technical background. This passes for integrating our Shape Correspondence tools and Statistical Analysis tools into Slicer3. Therefore one focus for these Project Week could be the incorporation of XNAT in Slicer3 for defining groups and patient variables in our sample groups (Batchmake).

Approach, Plan

We would like to provide a homogeneous framework for our clinical research needs. Explore the possibilities to

1. Integration of the UNC statistical core (XNAT?)

2. Integration of the UNC shape correspondence (XNAT?)

3. Ortho-Application wise... trouble-solving, meet mesh-people, ITK VTK programming etc etc


The application of Shape Analysis to Orthodontic applications is quite recent. The group already counts with preliminary results, but more technical development regarding to the usability of these results is needed.

... after few days...

1. and 2. have been studied and discussed and we should be ready to go soon. Thanks to Wendy Plesniak, Dan Marcus, Tim Olsen and the rest of the XNAT crew for an interesting breakout session!

3. In touch with new tools (Sebastian B., Luis I., Curtis L.), new functionalities such as Python (Demian W.), more knowledge on ITK and VTK after a VERY interesting ITK breakout session (Luis I.) and debugging sessions (Arnaud G. 1 and 2)

Moreover new books and papers to read, new code to develop, new paths...


  • "Shape Modeling and Analysis with Entropy-Based Particle Systems" J Cates, P T Fletcher, M Styner, M Shenton, R Whitaker. IPMI 2007, LNCS 4584, pp. 333-345, 2007.
  • "Parameter space warping: shape-based correspondence between morphologically different objects" Meier, D. Fisher, E. IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 2002
  • "Craniofacial Surgery" Seth Thaller, Joe I. Garri, James P. Bradley, Henry K. (INT) Kawamoto Contributor Henry K. (INT) Kawamoto. CRC Press, 2007
  • "Principles of Surgery" I. Schwartz., Single Volume. McGraw-Hill Professional, 7 edition, 1998.
  • "Condylar Resorption in Subjects with TMJ Osteoarthritis" Lucia H.S. Cevidanes, Anna-Kari Hajati, Beatriz Paniagua, David G. Walker, Martin Styner, Pei Feng Lim. Submitted to the Journal of Dental Research, 2009
  • "Closed and Open Source Neuroimage Analysis Tools and Libraries at UNC" Styner, Jomier, Gerig, ISBI 2006
  • "Open Source Statistical Surface Shape Analysis Package" Niethammer, Styner, Paniagua, Pantazis, Macenko, in preparation for InsightJournal