»Digital Spine« is a project I have been creating together with »Design and Systems«. It is an exhibition application written in Processing, featuring an
interactive human spine simulation.
The human spine has very specific requirements regarding therapy and surgery. German company Spontech’s proprietary
software named Vertaplan is an integral part of comprehensive planning for spine treatment. Vertaplan provides tools for
preoperative planning and intraoperative assistance, ensuring the optimal position of the spine geometry.
At the research institute »Design and Systems« in Würzburg, Germany, we developed a real-time 3D application which
illustrates the planning steps in a quick and plausible way in order to communicate the complex know-how behind this
system. The installation was featured at the DWG conference in Stuttgart in December 2012.
The backbone of the simulation (no pun intended) is a fully interactive, animated spine model. Users can freely rotate
and zoom into the model, test its range of motion as well as try a variety of implants on the affected disc space and
watch their effect on the flexibility of the spine. The resulting range of motion is computed and animated within the
simulation in real-time. The software was completely written in the Processing environment using GLGraphics and some
neat custom-written GLSL shaders.