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 IU Trident Indiana University

Exploiting HPC Resources for the 3D-Time Series Analysis of Caries Lesion Activity

Project Lead: Hui Zhang, Advanced Visualization Lab, Indiana University

Advanced Visualization Lab, Visualization and Analytics, UITS Research Technologies

Figure 1. 3D representations of microfocus computed tomography (µCT): 3 days demineralization [a], then 10 days remineralization [b]. Gray area indicates mineral density less than 95% of sound enamel. Green area indicates demineralized enamel in remineralized enamel and pink area represents gained mineral (c). We were able to demonstrate longitudinal mineral change.

The Advanced Visualization Lab collaborated with IU School of Dentistry professor Masatoshi Ando to create visualizations and quantitative assessment of caries lesion activity, based on collections of SkyScan μ-CT (microfocus computed tomography) images taken at different times during the dynamic caries process.

Analyzing caries progression (or reversal) is data-driven and computationally demanding. It involves segmenting high-resolution μ-CT images, constructing 3D models suitable for interactive visualization, and analyzing 3D and 4D (3D + time) dental images. Indiana University’s AVL staff and IUSD faculty exploit XSEDE’s supercomputing, storage, and visualization resources to facilitate the knowledge discovery process. Image processing algorithms were developed to understand and analyze the dental scan images, and XSEDE’s high performance computing resources were exploited to parallelize the computational tasks.

This investigation enables quantitative analysis as well as three-dimensional comparison of multiple temporal datasets from the longitudinal dental research studies. Such quantitative assessment and visualization can help us understand and evaluate the underlying processes that arise from dental treatment, and therefore can have significant impact in the clinical decision-making process and caries diagnosis.