Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open AccessLocating and tracing of anatomical landmarks based on full-field four-dimensional measurement of human body surface
Four-dimensional (4D) (3D+time) measurement systems make it possible today to measure objects while moving and deforming. One of the fields where 4D systems prove themselves useful is medicine—particularly orthopedics and neural sciences—where measurement results may be used to estimate dynamic parameters of a patient's movement. Relatively new in 4D, optical full-field shape measurement systems capture more data than standard marker-based systems and open new ways for clinical diagnosis. However, before this is possible, the appropriate 4D data processing and analysis methods need to be developed. We present a new data analysis path for 4D data input as well as new shape parameters describing local features of a surface. The developed shape parameters are easier and quicker to calculate than standard surface parameters, such as curvatures, but they give results that are very similar to the latter. The presented 4D data analysis path allows characteristic areas on the body, so-called anatomical landmarks, to be located and traces them in time along the measurement sequence. We also present the general concepts and describe selected steps of the developed 4D data analysis path. The algorithms were implemented and tested on real and computer-generated data representing the surface of lower limbs. Finally, we give sample processing and analysis results.