Nikhilesh Bappoo developed a bioengineering framework to better understand how evolving blood flow affects the biomechanics of placental vasculature during pregnancy. In his groundbreaking research paper, he explores placental physiology by creating a 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of a ratís placenta.

A female rat in late pregnancy was used for the research, as there is much resemblance between human and rat placentas. The feto-placental arteries were perfused with Microfil, and scanned via micro-CT imaging. Nikhilesh used Materialise Mimics to convert the micro-CT images into 3D models of the arterial structure, using segmentation tools like thresholding and region-growing. He used Materialise 3-matic to manually remove small defects in the model. He then used a first order Laplacian smoothing to remove noise on the exterior and interior surfaces.

Read the full blog post on Nikhilesh's research