Recent News

26/04/2017: 2nd Price at the Dirk Bartz price competition (Eurographics Medical Price)
A team lead by Patrick Saalfeld was awarded with the 2nd price. The ceremony took place at Eurographics in Lyon. The succesful contribution demonstrates how vascular structures, vascular pathologies and blood flow may be interactively sketched to support medical and patient education. Implicit visualizations, interaction techniques, 3D input and output devices are the ingredients for this work; see Patricks' videos:
Foto: © Eric Guérin

15/03/2017: Price for the 3rd best scientific paper for Monique Meuschke
Monique's work on “Automatic Viewpoint Selection for Exploration of Time-dependent Cerebral Aneurysm Data” was awarded with a price at this years workshop on Image Processing in Medicine in Heidelberg. In her work, she combines techniques to select good viewpoints on anatomical structures with an analysis of bloodflow simulation parameters to show the anatomy along with interesting values, e.g. particularly high values of wall shear stress.

10/03/2017: Visual Analytics Lecture
We offer a new lecture on “visual analytics”. For the first year in German, later in English. Here is more information on the details:

Benjamin Köhler won the third price for the Hugo Junkers Preis in the category “Foundational Research”. He presented his research tool for quantitative and qualitative analysis of 4D PC-MRI flow data.

Fotos: © Andreas Lander

Excellent Phd thesis defended: Benjamin Köhler completed his Phd-thesis „Guided Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Cardiac 4D PC-MRI data“. After winning the MedVis Award, the EG Medical Price, the BVM award and two Honorable mentions at VCBM, Ben also delivered an optimal performance at his oral defense leading to a „Summa Cum Laude“ result. The group prepared an extraordinary hat with a pumping heart and illuminated streamlines.

The paper from Sylvia Glaßer and colleagues “How to Evaluate Medical Visualizations on the Example of 3D Aneurysm Surfaces” was distinguished with the Honorable Mention Award at this years VCBM workshop in Bergen. Sylvia will be invited to submit an extended version of the paper to the Computer Graphics Forum journal.

We are glad that Dr. Gabriel Mistelbauer, TU Vienna joins our team. Gabriel brings a lot of experience in all parts of medical visualization, in particular in visualization of vasculature for diagnosis.

100th defense of a Master thesis in the Visualization group: Jean Michel Pape successfully defended his thesis on “Ein Klassifikationssystem zur quantitativen Analyse von Krankheitssymptomen im Kontext der Hochdurchsatz-Phänotypisierung von Pflanzen”. The work was carried out at the Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics in Gatersleben; a nice piece of interdisciplinary work, typical for the Computational Visualistics degree programme that requires substantial understanding of plant biology and imaging in that area. Advanced cameras that also acquire near infrared light were employed to assess pathologies of plants.

07/12/2016 Vis-Group at VIS
We are happy to announce that we will present two papers at this year's IEEE Visualization Conference (VIS) in Baltimore, Maryland.

“Visualization and Extraction of Carvings for Heritage Conservation” Kai Lawonn, Erik Trostmann, Bernhard Preim, Klaus Hildebrandt.

“Combined Visualization of Vessel Deformation and Hemodynamics in Cerebral Aneurysms” Monique Meuschke, Samuel Voss, Oliver Beuing, Bernhard Preim, Kai Lawonn.

We are looking forward to it!

Steffen Oeltze-Jafra defended his Postdoctoral lecture qualification on “Visual Analytics of Medical and Biological Data”. Steffen did a whole bunch of work on analyzing blood flow data, biological data and supervised also work on epidemiology data. With Jarke van Wijk and Thomas Ertl we had great reviewers to discuss all contributions carefully.

Paul Klemm successfully defended his Phd thesis on “Interactive Visual Analysis of Population Study Data”. Paul developed a couple of methods to enhance the hypothesis-driven workflow of epidemiologists adding data mining and visual analytics to their statistics-driven pipeline. We had a lively discussion with Silvia Miksch (Vienna Institute of Technology) and Daniel Weiskopf (University of Stuttgart) on many issues, including appropriate evaluation methods.

04/29/2016 Vis-Group at EuroVis
We are happy to announce that we will present two papers at this year's Eurographics Conference on Visualization (EuroVis) in Groningen, Netherlands.

“A Survey of Perceptually Motivated 3D Visualization of Medical Image Data” Bernhard Preim, Alexandra Baer, Timo Ropinski, Tobias Isenberg und Douglas Cunningham.

“Semi-automatic Vortex Flow Classification in 4D PC-MRI Data of the Aorta” Monique Meuschke, Benjamin Köhler, Uta Preim, Bernhard Preim, Kai Lawonn.

We are looking forward to it!

Benjamin Köhler has submitted his Phd thesis on the visual exploration and analysis of cardicac blood flow. In his thesis, Ben developed BloodLine, a comprehensive tool to preprocess and visualize 4D PC-MRI data with vortex detection, robust quantification of flow features, such as flow rate. BloodLine was developed in close cooperation with the Heart center Leipzig and is regularly used there. Ben's work is truly application-oriented and resulted in several prices including the MedVis-Award and the Eurographics Medical Price. Ben will stay with us and continue in the recently approved DFG project; extending BloodLine such that larger studies can be more efficiently analyzed.

We are very glad to announce that the German Research Foundation approved funding for our joint proposal with the Heart Center in Leipzig (Prof. Gutberlet, PD. Grothoff) and the Biometry department in Magdeburg (Prof. Kropf). The 2-year project serves as extension of our research on the visualization and analysis of cardiac blood flow measured with 4D phase-contrast MRI.

In a larger collective of patients and healthy volunteers we want to obtain an improved understanding where the boundary between physiological blood flow variations and pathologies is. The project also comprises the acquisition of patient follow-ups. Their evaluation shall help to better comprehend the evolution of the examined diseases: Bicuspid aortic valves, with a prevalence of 1-2% the most common aortic valve malformation, and tetralogy of Fallot, the most common inherited cyanotic heart disease.

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Kai Lawonn will be awarded with the Eurographics Phd Award at this year's Eurographics main conference in May for his thesis “Illustrative Visualization of Medical Datasets”. This prestigeous price is awarded to only two researchers.

11/03/2016: Virtual Anatomy – Explorative Study
We conducted our first explorative study for our BMWi funded project Virtual Anatomy together with our project partners Dornheim Medical Images GmbH and the Institute of Anatomy.

On February 16th and 18th, we invited ca. 20 medical students each day. After an assessment of their spatial ability, the students were split in two groups. Each group had to elaborate a medical scenario, one with an established approach, i.e., anatomy atlases, and the other with the application Dornheim Segmenter, respectively. After that, the students were tested on their abilities to label different structures on a body donor as well as recreate a medical region in a puzzle.

We thank all medical students for participation. This kind of a well planned and executed study with end users, was the first in our group. Now we are excited to analyze and interpret the results!

Steffen Oeltze-Jafra submitted his postdoctoral lecture thesis (“Habilitation”) on “Visual Analytics of Medical and Biological Data” summarizing his work on exploring blood flow data, toponome data and data from neuro science studies. It will be the first habilitation in our group.

Ivo Rössling, external Phd candidate of our group and staff member of Dornheim Medical Images successfully defended his Phd thesis “Vermessung von medizinischen Segmentierungen für die chirurgische Interventionsplanung und Dokumentation”. Ivo was actively involved in our long term cooperation with the University hospital Leipzig, being core developer of the TumorTherapyManager that is regularly used for Tumorboard meetings.

We are very happy that Pere-Pau Vazquez (associate professor from Barcelona) visits us. Pere-Pau is an expert in viewpoint selection, volume rendering and in particular perceptual enhancements of existing techniques. We are looking forward to his talk on “Instant Visualization of Molecular Simulation”.

Noeska Smit from Delft University of Technology is with us for a 10 day stay. Noeska is a specialist in medical visualization in general and in anatomy education in particular. She gave a talk on “The Virtual Surgical Pelvis”.

Welcome to Shiva Shiva Alemzadeh, our new Phd student from Iran. Shiva will work on epidemiological data and strengthen our visual analytics branch.

Welcome to Kai Nie, our new staff member from China. Kai will work on the visual analysis of perfusion data taking into account contrast agent dynamics, morphology and texture of suspicious tumors.

Paul Klemm has submitted his Phd thesis “Interactive Visual Analysis of Population Study Data”, an essential result from our DFG project together with Klaus Toennies and Henry Völzke from the University of Greifswald. This work was part of the DFG priority programme “Scaleable Visual Analytics”.

Our new staff member Monique Meuschke got a prestigeous award last Saturday. Having the best possible grades in all subjects, Monique was selected as the best graduate of all our six master programmes.

We welcome Nico Merten as new staff member working in the Research Campus SIMULATE. Before joining the Vis group Nico studied Computational Visualistics at Koblenz-Landau University.

15/10/2015: Invited talk
We are glad that Dr. Gabriel Mistelbauer, TU Wien accepted the invitation to give a talk in the Medical Technology colloquium. He will talk about “Advanced Vessel Visualization”

09/10/2015: Phd Thesis defended
Alexandra Baer defended here Phd thesis on “Perception-Guided Evaluation of 3D Medical Visualizations” successfully. Alexandra conducted a series of controlled perceptual studies related to emphasis techniques in medical visualization, depth perception with stereo and autostereoscopic devices and related to visualizations of vascular structures and internal flow. The thesis was reviewed by Timo Ropinski (Ulm University) and Douglas Cunningham (BTU Cottbus) and was graded with a Magna Cum Laude from all three reviewers.

07/10/2015: Project “Virtual Anatomy” funded
The new project “Virtual Anatomy”, funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy starts on October 1st. During the next 2.5 years, innovative concepts shall be developed and tested to modernize the anatomy education. For example, the body donors that are used by medical students for preparation training are scanned in high resolution such that the preparation can also be simulated virtually. While the body donors can only be used for a limited time, the virtual models are basically always available. One of the practical research questions is how to directly integrate the viewing and analysis of 3D models into the curriculum of the anatomy education.

The project is headed by Dornheim Medical Images. The company brings their competencies in the segmentation of medical image data. Furthermore, the Institute of Anatomy (Prof. Rothkötter) and the Visualization Group (Prof. Preim) of the University of Magdeburg are involved in the project. The developed solutions are tested and refined at the Institute of Anatomy. The Visualization Group supports the project with their experience in medical training systems and realizes innovative visualization techniques for the resulting complex data.

16/09/2015: Best Paper and Honorable Mention award at VCBM 2015!
We are delighted that our submission “A Survey of Cardiac 4D PC-MRI Data Processing” received the Honorable Mention award at the VCBM 2015 workshop. The survey paper was authored by Benjamin Köhler and was developed in cooperation with Silvia Born, University of Zürich, Roy van Pelt, Philips Heathcare, Eindhoven, as well as Uta Preim of the Municipal Hospital Magdeburg. Furthermore, our submission “Histology-Based Evaluation of Optical Coherence Tomographic Characteristics of the Cerebral Artery Wall via Virtual Inflating” won the best paper award! Sylvia Glaßer's work is the result of a novel cooperation between the visualization group, the Institute of Neuroradiology and the Institute of Pathology from the University hospital of Magdeburg and the Departments of Medical Engineering and Fluid Dynamics and Technical Flows from the University of Magdeburg. Both papers are invited to be extended as journal publication for the Computer Graphics Forum.

14/09/2015: We will present four papers at this year's VCBM!

We are happy to announce that we will present four papers at this year's Eurographics Workshop on Visual Computing for Biology and Medicine (EG VCBM) in Chester, UK.

Histology-Based Evaluation of Optical Coherence Tomographic Characteristics of the Cerebral Artery Wall via Virtual Inflating” Glaßer, Sylvia; Hoffmann, Thomas; Boese, Axel; Voß, Samuel; Kalinski, Thomas ; Skalej, Martin; Preim, Bernhard.

Exploration of 3D Medical Image Data for Interventional Radiology using Myoelectric Gesture Control” Hettig, Julian; Mewes, André; Riabikin, Oleksandr; Skalej, Martin; Preim, Bernhard; Hansen, Christian.

A Survey of Cardiac 4D PC-MRI Data Processing” Köhler, Benjamin; Born, Silvia; van Pelt, Roy; Preim, Uta; Preim, Bernhard.

Illustrative Multi-volume Rendering for PET/CT Scans” Lawonn, Kai; Smit, Noeska; Preim, Bernhard; Vilanova, Anna.

We are looking forward to it!

04/09/2015: Visiting Scientist in Norrköping and Linköping, Sweden
Steffen Oeltze-Jafra spends the entire September with the SciVis group headed by Anders Ynnerman at Linköping University. Steffen stays with the group in Norrköping but will also visit the Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV) and Claes Lundström in Linköping.

01/08/2015: VIS group involved in five papers being presented at the IEEE VIS this year!

We are happy to announce that we could spearhead and contribute to five papers being presented at this years IEEE VIS.

3D Regression Heat Map Analysis of Population Study Data” Paul Klemm, Kai Lawonn, Sylvia Glaßer, Uli Niemann, Katrin Hegenscheid, Henry Völzke, Bernhard Preim.

Occlusion-free Blood Flow Animation with Wall Thickness Visualization” Kai Lawonn, Sylvia Glaßer, Anna Vilanova, Bernhard Preim, Tobias Isenberg.

Cluster Analysis of Vortical Flow in Simulations of Cerebral Aneurysm Hemodynamics” Steffen Oeltze-Jafra, Juan R. Cebral, Gábor Janiga, Bernhard Preim.

Glyph-based Comparative Visualization for Diffusion Tensor Fields” Changgong Zhang, Thomas Schultz, Kai Lawonn, Elmar Eisemann, Anna Vilanova.

CG&A paper: “Interactive Visual Analysis of Heterogeneous Cohort Study Data” Paolo Angelelli, Steffen Oeltze, Judit Haász, Cagatay Turkay, Erlend Hodneland, Arvid Lundervold, Astri J. Lundervold, Bernhard Preim, Helwig Hauser

We look forward to the presentations!

30/07/2015: Excellent Master Thesis and Phd Thesis defended
Monique Meuschke provided an extraordinary Master thesis analyzing aortic blood flow data. Monique developed techniques to automatically classify vortices with respect to the stage in cardiac cycle (systolic, diastolic), to their extent (major and minor flow), flow direction, helical or vertical flow and the aortic section where the vortex occurs. All criteria are defined manually so far according to many clinical publications. Monique could develop methods that are quite robust and precise according to evaluations with real (pathologic patient data). The excellently written and presented thesis was judged with the highest possible grade by both reviewers. We are happy that Monique now joins the STIMULATE team, in particular the hemodynamics group.

Juliane Dinse external Phd student of the Vis group and staff member at MPI Leipzig defended her thesis. She dealt with neuroanatomical modelling looking for both the myeloarchitecture and the cytoarchitecture of human brains. She processed and analyzed histological images of human brains and 7 Tesla MR images using various theories and models to correlate them with each other. For this work, Juliane was awarded with a MICCAI Young Investigators award in 2013. This year she could publish a comprehensive paper in NeuroImage. Due to the excellent feedback from the external reviewers, both specialized in neurological image processing, Dorit Merhof (RWTH Aachen) and Guido Gerig who recently moved to New York the thesis was judged as “Summa Cum Laude”.

30/06/2015: PhD Thesis Defended
Wolfgang Schoor successfully defended his PhD Thesis on Interactive Visualization and Modification of Digitized Plant Biological Objects.

18/06/2015: MICCAI Accepted
Kai Lawonn lead a team that prepared for the MICCAI Conference “Illustrative Visualization of Vascular Models for Static 2D Representations” that was conditionally accepted. It is the first MICCAI paper since 2006 and the strongest paper together with Christian Hansen who recently joined as Faculty member for “Computer-Assisted Surgery”. This research extends the previous work of both groups on illustrative visualization and perception-based studies.”

20/05/2015: IEEE VIS-Tutorial “Rejuvenated Medical Visualization – Large-scale, whole-body visualization, visualizing physiology, non-standard imaging and simulations, and cohort studies” Accepted
We were notified and are delighted that our tutorial submission (lead by Steffen Oeltze-Jafra) for a half-day tutorial at this year's IEEE Visualization conference was accepted. Speakers are Anders Ynnerman, Stefan Bruckner and Helwig Hauser.

The book ” Interaktive Systeme Band 2: User Interface Engineering, 3D-Interaktion, Natural User Interfaces” authored by Bernhard Preim and Raimund Dachselt” appeared at Springer.

Juliane Dinse, external Phd student of the Vis group has submitted her Phd thesis entitled “A Model-based Cortical Parcellation Scheme for High-Resolution 7 Tesla MRI Data”. Juliane is a staff member of Max-Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig. She works in the Neurobiology department. In her work, Juliane dealt with histological slices and ultra high resolution MRI data to come up with a method to model laminar myelin patterns in the human cortex based on the known cytoarchictecture. She was locally supervised by Robert Turner and Pierre-Louis Bezan.


Benjamin Köhler received the price for the best talk (among 46) at this year's German workshop on medical image processing for presenting the paper “Two-Dimensional Plot Visualization of Aortic Vortex Flow in Cardiac 4D PC-MRI Data”. This is joint work with Monique Meuschke from our group and physicians from three hospitals (M. Gutberlet, M. Grothof, Heart Center Leipzig), (K. Fischbach, University Hospital Magdeburg) and U. Preim (Hospital Magdeburg, Olvenstedt). The award is handed over to Ben by Prof. Thomas Tolxdorff, Free University Berlin”.

02/03/2015: Extended Internship in Delft
Kai Lawonn started an extended internship at Delft University of Technology and is now a temporary member of Anna Vilanova's group. Kai continues the cooperation that we started during Anna's time in Eindhoven when Rocco Gasteiger joint her team and Roy van Pelt, in exchange came to Magdeburg.

22/02/2015: Dirk Bartz Price for Visual Computing in Medicine

We were notified that one of our submissions for the Dirk Bartz Price was selected to be awarded at this year's Eurographics conference in May. The succesful team is lead by Benjamin Köhler and includes physicians from the Heart Center Leipzig (Matthias Gutberlet, Matthias Grothoff), from the University Hospital Magdeburg (Katharina Fischbach) and the Klinikum Olvenstedt (Uta Preim). Together they delevoped and tested new methods to analyze and visualize cardiac blood flow to support the diagnosis of cardiac diseases.

09/02/2015: MICCAI-Tutorial “Highlights in Medical Visualization” Accepted
We were notified that our tutorial submission (lead by Anna Vilanova and Bernhard Preim) for a Full Day tutorial at this year's MICCAI conference was accepted. Speakers include Anders Ynnerman, Eduard Gröller, Stefan Bruckner and Timo Ropinski.

01/02/2015: New funding period for the research campus STIMULATE

A new 5-year period of funding for interventional radiology and related technical developments starts today in the framework of the research campus SIMULATE. Our group is involved in two subprojects: “image analysis and visualization” (for planning interventions) where we take the lead as well as hemodynamics/tools, where stents and related devices are developed for improving treatment of vascular diseases.

31/01/2015: Full-Day tutorial “Highlights in Medical Visualization” at MICCAI
We initiated a tutorial submission together with Anna Vilanova, TU Delft for a full day tutorial including a panel discussion at MICCAI. Tutorial speakers include Stefan Bruckner (Bergen), Katja Bühler (Vienna), Eduard Gröller (Vienna), Markus Hadwiger (KAUST), Bernhard Kainz (London) Thomas Schultz (Bonn), Rüdiger Westermann (Munich), Anders Ynnerman (Linköping).

19/01/2015: We present new surveys!

We submitted two surveys to the electronic archive arXiv. The first survey Feature Lines for Illustrating Medical Surface Models: Mathematical Background and Survey written by Kai Lawonn and Bernhard Preim is about feature lines. Here, several feature line methods are presented and analyzed. Furthermore, this survey provides also the discrete differential geometry background, which is necessary for understanding the feature line concepts.

The second survey by Bernhard Preim et al. was a joint work with the visualization group of Bergen headed by Helwig Hauser, the image processing group headed by Klaus Tönnies, and Henry Völzke the head of the study of health in Pomerania. The survey Visual Analytics of Image-Centric Cohort Studies in Epidemiology discusses cohort studies and how they can be evaluated with visual analytics.

18/12/2014: TVCG article on clustering blood flow receives attention at NeuroNews!

We are proud that our article "Blood Flow Clustering and Applications in Virtual Stenting of Intracranial Aneurysms", which appeared this year in IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics and was authored by Steffen Oeltze, Dirk J. Lehmann, Alexander Kuhn, Gabor Janiga, Holger Theisel, and Bernhard Preim, has been recognized by NeuroNews. The accompanying video of our article was embedded in their web page.


Kai Lawonn was selected as best Phd student of the university (joint first price with a student from mechanical engineering). The award ceremony took place at Johannes church.”

06/11/2014: Invited talk
Kai Lawonn gives an invited talk at MPI in Saarbrücken about illustrative visualization.

01/10/2014: Release of the Dornheim Segmenter
After many years of development the Dornheim Segmenter ( is now released as a product by our Spin-Off Company Dornheim Medical Images. It is based on research in our group primarily in computer-assisted ENT surgery. Former members of the group, such as Jana Dornheim, Kerstin Kellermann and Tobias Mönch contributed a lot.

01/10/2014: Best Phd Thesis Award

The Phd thesis of Kai Lawonn was selected the best Phd thesis of the Faculty in the academic year (1. 10. 2013 - 30. 9. 2014).

22/09/2014: Outstanding Phd Thesis Defended

Kai Lawonn has successfully defended his Phd thesis on “Illustrative Visualization of Medical Datasets” September, 15. Kai made a number of contributions related to feature lines applied to medical surface meshes. A systematic comparison of existing techniques, the development of new techniques, bridging between feature lines and hatchings, new applications in virtual endoscopy and molecular dynamics. Also for visualizing vascular surfaces along with internal blood flow Kai could strongly improve over existing methods. All this was accomplished in only 2.5 years. The Phd committee rated his performance as “Summa cum laude”.

20/08/2014: We will present four papers at this year's VCBM!

We are happy to announce that we will present four papers at this year's Eurographics Workshop on Visual Computing for Biology and Medicine (EG VCBM) in Vienna, Austria.

A Comparative User Study of a 2D and an Autostereoscopic 3D Display for a Tympanoplastic Surgery” Alexandra Baer, Antje Huebler, Patrick Saalfeld, Douglas Cunningham, Bernhard Preim.

Robust Cardiac Function Assessment in 4D PC-MRI Data” Benjamin Köhler, Uta Preim, Matthias Gutberlet, Katharina Fischbach, Bernhard Preim.

Survey of Labeling Techniques in Medical Visualizations” Steffen Oeltze-Jafra, Bernhard Preim.

Interactive Labeling of Toponome Data” Steffen Oeltze-Jafra, Franz Pieper, Reyk Hillert, Bernhard Preim, Walter Schubert.

We are looking forward to it!


24/07/2014: We present four papers at the IEEE VIS this year!

We are happy to announce that we will present four papers at this years IEEE VIS.

Combined Visualization of Wall Thickness and Wall Shear Stress for the Evaluation of Aneurysms” Sylvia Glaßer, Kai Lawonn, Thomas Hoffmann, Martin Skalej, Bernhard Preim.

Interactive Visual Analysis of Image-Centric Cohort Study Data” Paul Klemm, Steffen Oeltze-Jafra, Kai Lawonn, Katrin Hegenscheid, Henry Völzke, Bernhard Preim

Blood Flow Clustering and Applications in Virtual Stenting of Intracranial Aneurysms” Steffen Oeltze, Dirk J. Lehmann, Alexander Kuhn, Gabor Janiga, Holger Theisel, Bernhard Preim.

ADR - Anatomy-Driven Reformation” Jan Kretschmer, Grzegorz Soza, Christian Tietjen, Michael Suehling, Bernhard Preim, Marc Stamminger

We look forward to it!

04/07/2014: Phd Thesis defended

Sylvia Glaßer, Phd student of the visualization group, successfully defended her thesis “Visual Analysis, Clustering, and Classification of Contrast-Enhanced Tumor Perfusion MRI Data”.

27/06/2014: Phd Thesis defended

Tobias Mönch, Phd student of the visualization group, successfully defended his thesis “Context-Aware 3D Model Generation for Biomedical Applications”.

25/06/2014: Phd Thesis defended

Mathias Neugebauer, Phd student of the visualization group, successfully defended his thesis “Computer-Aided Exploration of Blood Flow in Cerebral Aneurysms – Geometrical Processing and Interactive Visualization”.

12/06/2014: Honorable Mention

Our joint work with SIEMENS Healthcare and the University of Erlangen was awarded with the only Honorable Mention award in the EuroVis Short Paper Section, making it the 2nd best Short Paper. The paper deals with an improved multivessel reformation technique based on a bilateral filter applied to depth information that effectively avoids small and disturbing discontinuities while preserving large information-carrying discontinuities. Bernhard Preim gets the award from one of the Short Paper Chairs in Swansea.

12/06/2014: New Phd Student

We are happy that Patrick Saalfeld got a grant for a Phd program from our local government to do research on 3D interaction related to treatment planning problems, such as implant placement and applicator positioning.

25/04/2014: CG&A paper on “Interactive Visual Analysis of Heterogeneous Cohort Study Data” accepted for publication

Paolo Angelelli from the Visualization research group of the University of Bergen, Norway visited our group in October/November 2011. His visit initiated a long-term collaboration on investigating longitudinal medical and cohort studies between the Visualization group in Bergen (Paolo Angelelli, Cagatay Turkay, and Helwig Hauser), the Department of Biomedicine (Judit Haáasz, Erlend Hodneland and Arvid Lundervold) and the Department of Biological and Medical Psychology (Astri J. Lundervold) at the University of Bergen, and our Visualization group (Steffen Oeltze-Jafra, Bernhard Preim). In the paper resulting from this long-term effort, we demonstrate the interactive visual exploration and analysis of cohort study data, helping with the generation of new hypotheses and contributing to the process of validating them. We propose a data-cube based model which handles partially overlapping data subsets during the interactive visualization. We implemented this model in an application prototype, and used it to analyze data acquired in the context of a Norwegian cohort study on cognitive aging. A pre-print of the paper is available here:

25/04/2014: IEEE TVCG paper on “Blood Flow Clustering and Applications in Virtual Stenting of Intracranial Aneurysms” appeared online and will be presented at this year's IEEE VIS (Paris, France)

Flow data resulting from steady-state simulations of blood flow in cerebral aneurysms are generally visualized by a dense and cluttered set of streamlines. The paper describes a fully automatic approach for reducing visual clutter and exposing characteristic flow structures by clustering streamlines and computing cluster representatives. While individual clustering techniques have been applied before to streamlines in 3D flow fields, a general quantitative and a domain-specific qualitative evaluation of three state-of-the-art techniques are contributed. It is shown that clustering streamlines contributes to comparing and evaluating different virtual stenting strategies. The paper is the result of a collaboration between our Visualization group (Steffen Oeltze-Jafra, Bernhard Preim), the Institute of Fluid Dynamics and Thermodynamics of our University (Gábor Janiga), the Visual Computing group (Dirk J. Lehmann, Alexander Kuhn, Holger Theisel), and the Institute of Neuroradiology of our University Hospital (Oliver Beuing). It is available here: The accompanying video can be found here:

11/04/2014: New PhD submission

Kai Lawonn has submitted his Phd thesis “Illustrative Visualization of Medical Data Sets” after a record time of 2 years and 4 months. As a mathematician, Kai soon become familiar with shader programming and advanced visualization techniques enabling him to make a number of strong contributions in illustrative and medical visualization. Among these contributions is a new method to generate smooth yet precise cutting lines based on an initial user-defined line, a substantial comparison of feature line techniques, the introduction of a new technique combining advantages of features lines and hatchings as well as improved smart visibility techniques to display vascular surfaces and embedded (simulated) blood flow. Also Kai was the first to display endoscopic views with feature lines and discussed pros and cons of their use.

31/03/2014: Phd Thesis defended

Simon Adler, external Phd student of the visualization group, successfully defended his thesis on surgery simulation. Simon developed methods to efficiently cut in tetrahedral meshes, to deform organs and vascular structures.

26/03/2014: VisGroup@EuroVis:

We are happy that two submissions of our group were accepted at EuroVis in Swansea (

The paper “Line Integral Convolution for Real-Time Illustration of Molecular Surface Shape and Salient Regions” was prepared by Kai Lawonn. It is a joint work with the Visualization group at University of Stuttgart where molecular dynamics simulations are carried out.

The paper “Comparative Blood Flow Visualization for Cerebral Aneurysm Treatment Assessment” is a result of our long-term effort to explore blood flow and to support neurovascular interventions. Rocco Gasteiger collaborated (again) with Roy van Pelt from Technical University of Eindhoven.

07/02/2014: Phd Thesis defended

Rocco Gasteiger successfully defended his PhD thesis on Visual Exploration of Cardiovascular Hemodynamics with summa cum laude at 07 February 2014. Rocco developed methods for expressive renderings of blood flow vessels with embedded flow information, to quantify the flow with respect to the inflow jet and the impingement zone in cerebral aneurysms as well as new exploration techniques, such as his FlowLens. During his PhD he collaborates very effectively with members from the group of Visual Computing, the Institute of Neuroradiology at the university hospital of Magdeburg, the Institute of Fluid Dynamics and Thermodynamics, the Department of Biomedical Magnetic Resonance as well as the Department of BioMedical Engineering at the Technical University of Eindhoven. Some visual impressions from the defense ceremony and party can be found here.

14/01/2014: New PhD submission

Mathias Neugebauer submitted his PhD thesis „Computergestützte Exploration von zerebralen Aneurysmen – Geometrische Verarbeitung und interaktive Visualisierung“. In his work he describes various approaches for an anatomy-driven qualitative, visual exploration of flow in cerebral aneurysms. By reducing the spatial complexity and the usage of application-driven user interfaces and guided interaction, Mathias aims at bridging the gap between two expert domains: flow simulation and neuroradiology. Parts of this work were developed as part of MoBeStAn (“Modellierung und Beeinflussung von Strömung in zerebralen Aneurysmen”), a government-funded, interdisciplinary project.

14/01/2014: New PhD submission

Tobias Mönch submitted his PhD thesis “Context-Aware 3D Model Generation for Biomedical Applications”. As a part of the BMBF-funded project “ViERforES”, Tobias analyzed the generation of anatomic surface models w.r.t. artifact reduction in the scope of characteristic medical applications, such as surgical planning and simulation, blood flow simulation, and rapid prototyping. By employing context knowledge on these specific applications and data, he developed new methods which improve the robustness of existing mesh smoothing filters and allow for a better preservation of the model quality.

19/12/2013: Second Edition “Visualization in Medicine”

Dec. 13: The second edition of the book “Visualization in Medicine” has appeared at Elsevier. The slightly changed title “Visual Computing in Medicine” reflects that image analysis, human-computer interaction and simulation play a greater role. The whole content is completely updated. In addition to the printed book, five chapters are available freely online.

18/12/2013: New PhD submission

Sylvia Glaßer submitted her PhD thesis “Visual Analysis, Clustering, and Classification of Contrast-Enhanced Tumor Perfusion MRI Data”. The thesis was realized as part of the DFG priority programme “Scaleable Visual Analytics”. Sylvia analyzed breast and brain tumor perfusion data combining automatic data analysis techniques and visual exploration for a more reliable discrimination of malignant and benign tumors.

19/11/2013: VisGroup@BVM
We are happy that our four submissions for the workshop on image processing in medicine were accepted for presentation.


The paper “Adapted Spectral Clustering for Evaluation and Classification of DCE-MRI Breast Tumors” by Sylvia Glaßer and colleagues introduces a spectral clustering approach for breast tumor data. The clustering parameters are automatically derived such that the clustering results can be employed for an automatic classification into benign and malignant breast lesions.

The paper “Socio-demographic and Medical Attribute Data in Cohort Studies” by Paul Klemm and colleagues proposes an alternative approach for analyzing significant interactions for identifying risk factors in epidemiological cohort study data by incorporating clustering algorithms with a Visual Analytics system to form subject groups. This is the basis for an exploratory analysis of the underlying parameter interactions. With the presented system, groups can be automatically determined to provide insights into this complex data.

The paper “Illustrative Visualization of Endoscopic Views” was prepared by Kai Lawonn and colleagues and deals with the application of illustrative line renderings on endoscopic views. Different line drawing concepts were examined and the ability to represent interior branches as well as specific anatomic features was assessed.

The paper “Measurement of the Stratum Radiatum/Lacunosum-Moleculare (SRLM)” was prepared by Steffen Oeltze and colleagues. Alzheimer disease (AD) at an early stage is characterized by a synaptic loss and atrophy in the apical layer of the CA1 part of the hippocampus, the stratum radiatum and stratum lacunosum-moleculare (SRLM). In cooperation with the Institute of Cognitive Neurology and Dementia Research at the University of Magdeburg and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (Standort Magdeburg) a new approach to measuring SRLM thickness in 7Tesla MR-images was developed.

23/09/2013: New PhD submission

Rocco Gasteiger submitted his Phd thesis today. Starting in 2007 and sometimes side-tracked by other projects he had to take care of, Rocco dealt with the exploration of measured and simulated blood flow data, comparing results, developing new exploration techniques, such as his FlowLens. In a close cooperation with Roy van Pelt and Anna Vilanova , Rocco developed techniques to quantify the flow with respect to the inflow jet and the impingement zone. Besides his two most essential papers that appeared at IEEE TVCG, another contribution of Rocco is extraordinary: a new approach to depict the vascular morphology and internal flow, published at the VCBM Eurographics Workshop in 2010 and being effectively the most heavily cited paper.

13/09/2013: 3rd Place: Best Paper Award

Kai Lawonn’s work about adaptive surface visualization of vessels with embedded blood flow has been selected as one of the three best papers in the VMV 2013 conference. The work will be presented in an extended version at Computer Graphics Forum.

16/08/2013: Tutorial VisGroup@IEEE VisWeek

We are happy that our tutorial submission entitled “Interactive Visual Analysis of Scientific Data” has been accepted as a half-day tutorial for VisWeek 2013. The tutorial is a collaborative effort of Helwig Hauser from the University of Bergen, Norway, Johannes Kehrer from the Vienna University of Technology, Austria, and Steffen Oeltze (organizer). The tutorial has been held once before at VisWeek 2012. The notes of last year are available at: This year, the tutorial has been significantly changed, e.g., to present new application fields of Interactive Visual Analysis (IVA) to the audience: IVA of epidemiological and flow data.

8/08/2013: VisGroup@IEEE VisWeek
We are happy that the two submissions for the SciVis conference within IEEE VisWeek ( were accepted for presentation.

The paper “Semi-Automatic Vortex Extraction in 4D PC-MRI Cardiac Blood Flow Data using Line Predicates”

was prepared by Ben Köhler and colleagues and represents the major results of Ben's Master thesis. Features of measured cardiac blood flow are related to severe pathologies. This work was only possible with substantial support from the Herzzentrum Leipzig (Prof. Gutberlet, Dr. Uta Preim) who provided these very special kind of data and greatly helped to interpret them and guide the analysis towards clinically relevant features.

Jan Kretschmar (SIEMENS Forchheim and Phd student in Erlangen) prepared a paper “Interactive Patient-Specific Vascular Modeling with Sweep Surfaces”

on the creation of vascular surfaces models that are not only smooth and accurate but also appropriate for blood flow simulation. We could slightly contribute to Jan's work and extend the cooperation that already lead to a EuroVis paper last year.

8/08/2013: New CGF paper on “Mesh Smoothing” appeared online (July 30)
After the presentation at VCBM in Norrköping 2012, Tobias Mönch was invited to prepare an enhanced article for the Computer Graphics Forum on the framework for interactive mesh smoothing, primarily for anatomical surface models. After careful reviewing, the paper was now accepted and appeared online

It represents the highlight of Tobias' upcoming Phd thesis. The paper was joint work with Kai Lawonn, Christoph Kubisch (nVidia) and Rüdiger Westermann (TU Munich) who contributed to algorithmic descriptions and efficient hardware implementation.

1/06/2013: Many interested visitors at the “Long Night of Science”

Around 1300 visitors attended the “Long Night of Science” on June 1st, 2013 at the Faculty of Computer Science. Not only on June 1st, but also during the Campus Days (held on May, 31 and June, 1st), the Visualization group presented current research work on “Medical 3D Visualization and Interaction for Therapy Planning”.

21/05/2013: Dirk Bartz Medical Prize received
We are happy to announce that members of the visualization group were awarded with the 2nd prize of the Dirk Bartz Prize for Visual Computing in Medicine 2013. The entry was titled “Interactive Visual Exploration of Hemodynamics in Cerebral Aneurysms” and it summarizes the work of Mathias Neugebauer, Rocco Gasteiger, Gabor Janiga (ISUT), Oliver Beuing (Radiology Dept. University Hospital), and Bernhard Preim. The award ceremony was part of this year’s EuroGraphics Award ceremony, in the beautiful Teatre Municipal de Girona (Girona, Spain).

27/04/2013: The Web3D “LiverAnatomyExplorer” was accepted for IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications
steven-birr.jpg birr_2012_curac.jpg

Our submission “The LiverAnatomyExplorer: A WebGL-based Surgical Teaching Tool” was accepted for a special issue of IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications on Web-Based 3D visualizations.

The paper describes the design, implementation and evaluation of a liver anatomy system that conveys different variants of the liver anatomy based on 13 datasets. 2D slice-based and 3D visualizations with a number of interaction techniques to explore the data are provided. State-of-the-art Web3D technologies and frameworks, like WebGL and X3DOM, are employed to provide a solution without any plugins. In contrast to other web-based training systems, the LiverAnatomyExplorer is based on a representative set of cases and provides more interactive features.
The paper was authored by Steven Birr, Jeanette Mönch, Uta and Bernhard Preim.

26/03/2013: Vis-Group at EuroVis 2013

We are happy that two of our submissions for the EuroVis conference in Leipzig were finally accepted and will appear in the Computer Graphics Forum.

Kai Lawonn is the principal author of the paper “Streamlines for Illustrative Real-time Rendering” where he suggests a new method to place lines on surfaces of complex (anatomical) surface models. These lines are seeded along curvature-related vector fields and provide more shape information than conventional feature lines. The line generation process, including curvature estimation, as well as the efficient rendering is described in the paper.

Mathias Neugebauer introduced “AmniVis - A System for Qualitative Exploration of Near-Wall Hemodynamics in Cerebral Aneurysms”. The paper is based on many in-depth discussions with neuroradiologists and aims to present results of unsteady (time-dependent) CFD simulations intuitively and effectively. Essential questions, guiding this research, are: How can the user efficiently select relevant time steps? What features are particularly interesting? How they can be emphasized and assessed?

15/03/2013: 10 Jahre Visualisierung in Magdeburg

Die Arbeitsgruppe “Medizinische Visualisierung” an der Universität Magdeburg feiert ihr 10-jähriges Bestehen. Aus diesem Anlass wird es am 26. April 2013 ab 15 Uhr im Hörsaal der Fakultät für Informatik (G29-307) ein Symposium geben, bei dem ein kleiner Einblick in die vergangenen 10 Jahre und in die Arbeiten der Arbeitsgruppe, ehemaliger Mitarbeiter und eng verbundener Partner gegeben wird. Mehr Informationen...

24/01/2013: Kick-Off Event for the Research Campus Stimulate

On January 30, the kick-off event for the research campus STIMULATE (Solution Centre for Image guided local Therapies) takes place, see the schedule:

The research campus is a joint activity between our University, SIEMENS Healthcare as well as a number of associated companies.

21/01/2013: Visit of Anders Ynnerman 24./25. January:

We are looking forward to the visit of Anders Ynnerman, clearly the key visualization researcher in Sweden and in particular the leading medical visualization expert there. He is known among others for his work on interactive exploration of large medical data using modern surface and touch technology, see his popular TED talk (

Anders leads the famous visualization center in Norrköping, closely collaborates with the imaging center in Linköping and recently co-organized the Eurographics Workshop on Visual Computing in Biology in Medicine. Anders visits both, the visual computing and the visualization group and gives a talk in the visual computing colloquium (Link: series on 1:15 pm on Friday early afternoon.

09/01/2013: Good start in the New Year:
Our journal submission “The LiverSurgeryTrainer - Training of Computer-Based Planning in Liver Surgery” was accepted at the International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery. The paper with Jeanette Mönch as Principal author documents as a summary our long-term efforts to create a software system for case-based training, including expert opinions, intraoperative videos and resection proposals. Surgeons may assess the operability and resectability and compare their decisions with expert decisions and their explanations. Many thanks for the cooperation to Fraunhofer MEVIS, in particular Christian Hansen and Prof. Karl Oldhafer, our major medical partner. We are also thankful to many other surgeons for providing the necessary feedback.

10/12/2012: Otto-von-Guericke Forschungspreis 2012

forschungspreis2012.jpg forschungspreistraeger_2012.jpg

At the Computer Science Faculty the position of an Assistant Professor “Computer-Assisted Surgery” is available


19/11/2012: MedVis-Award 2012: The winner is Rocco!
(Click to enlarge) Rocco Gasteiger's work on the visual exploration of cerebral blood flow was selected for the first price from 17 submissions to this year's Karl-Heinz Höhne Award. At the photos, Dr. Stefan Zachow from Zuse-Institute Berlin who was the head of the selection committee (together with Prof. Dorit Merhof), awards the price. Rocco was the first author of two related IEEE TVCG papers exploring features of cerebral blood flow in the presence of cerebral aneuryms.

Besides his numerous own ideas, concepts, and implementations, he carefully collaborated with colleagues and other groups. He integrated important works from our partners in flow simulation (Gabor Janiga, Dominique Thevenin), from our medical partners (Oliver Beuing, Martin Skalej), our friends from Eindhoven (Roy van Pelt, Anna Vilanova) as well our colleagues from the visual computing group (Dirk Lehmann, Holger Theisel) and finally, Rocco very effectively teamed up with Mathias in our group for many years now.

30/10/2012: Benjamin Köhler defended his Master thesis on “Vortex extraction in PC-MRA data

Ben developed tools to process these time-dependent blood flow data, searching for topologically interesting regions, like those with high helicality and vorticity. The visual exploration of blood flow in the human Aorta is then focussed on such regions.

The work was carried out in a close collaboration with the Heart Center in Leipzig (Prof. Gutberlet) where such data are acquired to assess mitral valve defects, congenital heart diseases and other pathologies. Ben did an extraordinary job in understanding this imaging technique and the resulting data as well as in the development of a mathematically sound basis for the exploration.

His written thesis, like the oral defense was assessed with the highest possible grade.

10/10/2012: VisGroup@VCBM

Visualization Center @ Norrköping, Sweden Timo Ropinski @ Welcome-talk
This year's Eurographics Workshop on Visual Computing in Biology and Medicine ( took place at the Visualization Center in Norrköping, Sweden. From the 17 full paper presentations, three were given by our group.

  • Katja Mogalle presented a method for automatic label placement in 2D image slices for the reading of radiological images. Based on a case study, the main constraints for label placement have been analyzed and are evaluated for finding valid and suitable label positions.

  • Steffen Oeltze described a volume rendering approach for visualizing protein patterns of 3D toponome data. The utility provides multiple coordinated views and techniques for interacting with the 3D view in an exploratory analysis.

  • Tobias Mönch developed a framework, which allows to perform mesh smoothing and model quality estimation in real-time. Based on an OpenGL implementation, suggestions for optimal smoothing parameters may determined and used to simply the use of mesh smoothing filters. This paper has been selected as one of the three best papers and has been invited for publication in Computer Graphics Forum.

18/07/2012: VisGroup@VisWeek

Rocco Gasteiger
Rocco Gasteiger lead a team that came up with a successful submission for this years IEEE VisWeek. The paper “Automatic Detection and Visualization of Qualitative Hemodynamic Characteristics in Cerebral Aneurysms” is a joint work with the Visual Computing group of the University of Magdeburg, the Biomedical Engineering group of the Technical University of Eindhoven (in particular Dr. Anna Vilanova and Dr. Roy van Pelt), the department of Fluid Dynamics and Thermodynamics at the University of Magdeburg, and the University Hospital Magdeburg. With this method, important hemodynamic characteristics such as the inflow jet and the impingement zone of blood flow in cerebral aneurysms (see the images) can be extracted and visualized automatically and reliably. The paper will appear in the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Graphics (TVCG).



Prof. Thomas Flohr, Heads of CT Physics and Application Development SIEMES Healthcare Erlangen hält am 19. Juli um 15.30 Uhr im Geb. 09, Raum 211 im Rahmen des Kolloquiums Medizintechnik einen Vortrag zum Thema “Neue Entwicklungen in der CT-Technologie”.

Abstract: Die Computertomographie hat sich seit ihrer klinischen Einführung im Jahre 1976 rasant entwickelt – sie ist heute das Ar-beitspferd in der Radiologie und aus dem klinischen Alltag nicht mehr wegzudenken. Mit modernen Computertomogra-phen können dreidimensionale Bilder der Anatomie des Patienten in wenigen Sekunden mit einer räumlichen Auflösung von 0.3 mm aufgenommen werden. Dieser Vortrag geht auf die Grundlagen und auf die Geschichte der Computertomographie ein - von den ersten Schädel-scannern bis zu modernen Mehrschicht-CT Geräten – und er gibt einen Einblick in neue Entwicklungen auf diesem Gebiet. Durch bessere zeitliche Auflösung aufgrund immer schnellerer Rotation wurden neue Anwendungsgebiete für die CT er-schlossen, wie die Untersuchung des Herzens und der Herzkranzgefäße. In vielen Fällen kann die Herz-CT heute den invasi-ven Herzkatheter ersetzen. Ein wesentlicher Entwicklungsschritt war hier die Einführung der Dual-Source CT Technologie im Jahre 2005. Eine zweite Entwicklungsrichtung betrifft die Ergänzung der anatomischen Bildinformationen um funktionelle Aussage-kraft. Mit neuen Untersuchungstechniken wie der CT-Perfusionsbildgebung oder der Dual Energy CT lässt sich z. B. bei modernen Krebstherapien durch die Visualisierung metabolischer Prozesse eine Prognose für das Therapieansprechen zeitnah abgeben. Die dritte große Stoßrichtung ist die Reduktion der Strahlendosis. Die Dosisbelastung ist zu einem großen öffentlichen Thema auch außerhalb der Medizin geworden, auf das alle Großgerätehersteller reagiert haben. Die Gefahr, langfristig ge-sundheitliche Schäden durch eine CT-Untersuchung davonzutragen, ist sehr gering. Wenn eine CT-Untersuchung medizi-nisch indiziert ist, übertrifft ihr Nutzen das mögliche Risiko bei weitem. Dennoch versuchen alle Hersteller, die Dosis mit verschiedenen Techniken so weit wie möglich zu reduzieren.


In the course of the Visual Computing research seminar Christian Dick from the visualization group of TU Munich will give a talk with subsequent discussion about the topic Computational Steering for Implant Planning in Orthopedics on Friday, 22/06/2012.


The selection of a patient-specific optimal implant with respect to shape, size, and position during preoperative planning requires the consideration of geometrical and biomechanical criteria. In particular, the selected implant should lead to a physiological stress distribution in the bone, in order to avoid a degeneration of bone tissue and eventually a loosening of the implant or a fracturing of the bone.

In this talk, I present the first planning system that allows for an implant selection based on the patient-specific prediction of the stress distribution. The system provides a virtual 3D planning environment, where the physician can interactively insert implants into the bone. During this process, the system instantaneously computes and visualizes the resulting stress distribution. In my talk, I first address the interactive simulation of the stress distribution by means of a highly efficient hexahedral multigrid finite element method, including the implementation of this method on the GPU using the CUDA computing API. I then discuss the interactive visualization of the resulting 3D stress tensor fields, including the comparative visualization of these fields to allow for a clear rating of an implant with respect to stress shielding. Finally, I present methods for the interactive visualization of the spatial distances between bone and implant that support the validation of the specific geometrical criteria. All simulation and visualization methods have been implemented on the GPU to exploit its massive computing power and memory bandwidth.


Last week, we visited our dear fellow visualization researchers Roy van Pelt and Ralph Brecheisen, who successfully defended their PhD-theses in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Both presented their outstanding work in the fields of illustrative flow visualization (Real-time Illustrative Visualization of Cardiovascular Hemodynamics – Roy van Pelt) and DTI visualization (Visualization of Uncertainty in Fiber Tracking based on Diffusion Tensor Imaging – Ralph Brecheisen). We also witnessed the interesting formal procedure of defending a thesis in the Netherlands. Some impressions of our visit can be found in the gallery.


Vortrag im Rahmen des “User Interface Kolloquiums” am 31. Mai 2012 um 13.15 Uhr im Raum 29-301

Dr. Felix Ritter (Fraunhofer MEVIS Bremen): “Advancing the User Experience in Reading of Medical Images”


The analysis of patient data acquired by current image modalities offers previously unattained opportunities for diagnosis, therapy support, and therapy assessment. While image analysis methods have progressed far in recent years, the interaction and user experience in reading these data has not received the same amount of care. The talk will present concepts of the Fraunhofer MEVIS institute that try to challenge several aspects of conventional reading and handling of medical images for diagnosis and intra-operative inspection.


Felix Ritter is head of visualization and human computer interaction at Fraunhofer MEVIS, Bremen, Germany. His research interests include medical visualization, perception, and human factors in visualization. His current work is focused on the usability of medical workstations and the development of intra-operative user interfaces. He received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Magdeburg, Germany, in 2005.


Peter Kohlmann, senior researcher from Fraunhofer MEVIS will visit us on Thursday, exchanging particularly with respect to perfusion data and blood flow data. Peter will give a talk in the Medical Technology colloquium series on April 19.

We are happy to have two guests this week. Charl Botha (TU Delft) came already last week and stays for five weeks as a guest professor. Charl looks at our projects and gives advice, he give a talk in the visual computing colloquium on April 20 and work with Bernhard on the MedVis-book.

13/03/2012: BVM 2012 - BVM Award

The long and fruitful collaboration between the Visualization group and Fraunhofer MEVIS Bremen lead to another nice success. Benjamin Köhler, currently student assistant in our group, will be awarded with the BVM-Award from the German medical image processing society, acknowledging his extraordinary Bachelor thesis. The thesis was based on an internship at Fraunhofer MEVIS Bremen, supervised jointly by Dr. Jan Klein (Fraunhofer MEVIS) and Bernhard Preim. Ben's work was integrated in the MEVIS activities on the reconstruction of HARDI data, a relatively new kind of data for analysing human white matter. Ben's work was an extraordinarily deep analysis of fiber reconstruction with global optimization methods. The award will be presented at the BVM workshop where Ben will present the results of his current research on visualizing blood flow data and now may also report on his award-winning work.

04/01/2012: VMV 2012

The Vis-group will co-organize this year's Vision, Modeling, and Visualization (VMV) to be held at November 12-14 in the Gesellschaftshaus Magdeburg.

Paper submission deadline: 25.06.2012

Invited Speakers:

  • Leif Kobbelt, RWTH Aachen
  • Torsten Moeller, Simon Fraser University Vancouver
  • Bernt Schiele, MPI Saarbrücken

21/10/2011: New Research Project “Visual Analytics in Public Health” Approved

The image analysis and visualization group applied jointly for a grant in the DFG priority programme “Scaleable Visual Analytics”. The joint goal is to analyze and visually explore patient cohort data from large public health studies. In particular, we cooperate with Prof. Vötzke (University of Greifswald) to explore data of the SHiP study (social health in Pommern). Related news to the SHiP study can be found here: and

19/10/2011: Visit of Paolo Angelelli from University of Bergen, Norway

Since October 10th, Paolo Angelelli is visiting the Visualization Group. Paolo is a Phd student in his final year from the Visualization group in Bergen, Norway. Paolo is interested in the interactive visual analysis of contrast-enhanced Ultrasound data and in the visualization of tubular flow. Paolo stays two weeks and has many discussions with the group members, in particular with Steffen and Sylvia about the investigation of longitudinal, medical and cohort studies.

19/07/2011: VisGroup@VisWeek

Steffen Oeltze et al. will present their work on

“Interactive, Graph-based Visual Analysis of High-dimensional, Multi-parameter Fluorescence Microscopy Data in Toponomics”


In close cooperation with leading cell biologists and the SimVis team (link zu from Vienna, Steffen explored interactive graph visualization techniques and visual analytics techniques to analyze co-occuring proteins and function protein patterns in multi-parameter fluorescence microscopy. This fundamental biological research has potential applications in toxicology and drug development.

Rocco Gasteiger and Mathias Neugebauer will also present their work on

“The FlowLens: A Focus and Context Visualization Approach for Exploration of Blood Flow in Cerebral Aneurysms”

Based on an in-depth recherche on relevant hemodynamic attributes, they enable the exploration of blood flow data where attribute pairs are displayed and investigated with flexible lenses. This work is a strongly interdisciplinary effort where medical doctors from neuroradiology provide the necessary medical background and evaluate our techniques and where the simulation group from Prof. Thevenin provides validated simulation data of blood flow in cerebral aneurysms.

Both papers will appear in October in a special issue of the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Graphics.

07/08/2011: Jeanette Mönch defended her Phd thesis
With an excellent presentation, Jeanette nicely rounded up her Phd thesis on the conceptual design of surgical training systems. She developed guidelines for the didactical conception, development, and evaluation of computer based surgical training and learning systems. Together with Konrad Mühler and Kerstin Kellermann, she implemented these guidelines in the development of the LiverSurgeryTrainer and the SpineSurgeryTrainer.
The LiverSurgeryTrainer supports the training of preoperative decisions in liver surgery based on a representative set of case data. The SpineSurgeryTrainer conveys anatomical knowledge, therapeutical options and decision criteria for the planning and training of interventions in spine surgery.
The commission with the reviewers Prof. Marc Hassenzahl and Prof. Winfried Marotzki lead by Prof. Dietmar Rösner assessed her overall achievements with the very good grade “Magna Cum Laude”.

05/31/2011: OP-Planung am Computer

Lars Dornheim, Bernhard Preim und Jana Dornheim (von links) betrachten ein 3D-Patientenbild (links) , das mit der in Magdeburg entwickelten Software erstellt wurde. Auf dem rechten Monitor ist dagegen eine herkömmliches Schema abgebildet, in die Chirurgen Tumore per Hand einzeichnen. (FOTO: ULI LÜCKE)

MAGDEBURG/MZ. Auf dem Computerbildschirm ist ein menschlicher Schädel mit Halswirbelsäule und dem oberen Teil des Brustkorbs abgebildet, neben dem Kehlkopf ist ein gelbes Gebilde zu sehen - ein Tumor. Bernhard Preim kann per Mausklick die dreidimensionale Ansicht in alle Richtungen drehen. “Die Frage ist, ob der Tumor bereits den Kehlkopf infiltriert hat”, sagt der Professor für Informatik an der Universität Magdeburg. Falls ja, müsse der Kehlkopf gemeinsam mit dem Tumor entfernt werden - der Patient könnte dann nicht mehr sprechen.

Preim selbst muss solche Entscheidungen nicht treffen. Aber in seiner Arbeitsgruppe am Institut für Simulation und Grafik ist eine Software entwickelt worden, die Medizinern die Therapie von Tumoren in der Mund-, Hals- und Rachenregion erleichtert. Werkzeug für die Therapieplanung ist der “Tumor-Therapy-Manager”, eine Software, die aus Computertomographie- und Endoskopiedaten dreidimensionale Bilder erzeugt und die jüngst mit einem europäischen Preis für Computergrafik ausgezeichnet wurde.

“Die Software erleichtert den Chirrurgen die OP-Planung, denn sie setzt die vielen Einzelbilder, an denen sich die Ärzte bisher orientieren, zu einem Bild zusammen”, sagt Preim. Eine Herausforderung für die Wissenschaftler war es, die Abstände zwischen dem Tumor und wichtigem Gewebe korrekt darzustellen, erklärt der Informatikprofessor. Sitzt der Tumor etwa zu dicht oder schon im Halswendemuskel, muss dieser mit entfernt werden. Die Folge: Der Patient kann anschließend seinen Arm nicht mehr heben. Die Abwägung zwischen dem Ziel, den Tumor zuverlässig und vollständig zu entfernen und dem Anliegen, umliegendes Gewebe zu erhalten, könne nun aufgrund zuverlässigerer Daten erfolgen. “Ohne Vermessung am Computer können Ärzte sich um 40 bis 60 Prozent, das entspricht bis zu 37 Millimetern, vermessen”, sagt der Informatikprofessor.

Die am Projekt beteiligten Informatiker und Computervisualisten arbeiten bei der Entwicklung der Software eng mit Medizinern der Universitätsklinik in Leipzig zusammen. “Wir sind nach Leipzig gefahren, haben die Arbeitsabläufe von der Aufnahme der Patienten bis hin zur Bestrahlungstherapie angeschaut und überlegt, wo wir die Arbeit der Mediziner unterstützen können”, sagt Jana Dornheim, die in Magdeburg Computervisualistik studiert hat.

“Der erste Schritt war, den Arbeitsalltag der Mediziner zu verstehen”, sagt die 32-Jährige. Jana Dornheim und ihr Mann Lars Dornheim haben sich vor drei Jahren mit der Firma “Dornheim Medical Images” selbstständig gemacht. Sie ist Projektpartner bei der Entwicklung des “Tumor-Therapy-Managers”.

Seit rund neun Jahren arbeiten die Wissenschaftler an dem Projekt. 2006 wurde das erste Modell vorgestellt. “Die Mediziner haben ihn unter anderem für die Patientenaufklärung benutzt, weil die Darstellungen der Software auch für Laien sehr anschaulich sind”, sagt Jana Dornheim. Zwei Jahre später wurde der erste professionelle Prototyp ausgeliefert, der für die OP-Planung eingesetzt werden kann. “Seit 2008 sind mehr als 100 Operationen mit der Software geplant worden”, sagt Preim.

Eigentlich, so Jana Dornheim, bestehe der “Therapy-Manager” aus zwei Produkten. Neben dem Programm zur Therapie- und OP-Planung ermöglicht die Software auch die Dokumentation der Therapieentscheidung. “Bisher wird die Lage und Größe des Tumors von Hand in sechs schematische Ansichten der Halsregion eingezeichnet”, sagt Jana Dornheim. Das Magdeburger OP-Programm erstelle diese Dokumentation nun mit genaueren Bildern.

Derzeit werde die Markteinführung geplant, die wahrscheinlich gemeinsam mit einem Medizingerätehersteller erfolgen soll, sagt Preim. Die Forscher arbeiten aber auch weiter an den Funktionen der Software. Eines der nächsten Projekte könnte die Planung von Bestrahlungstherapien mit dem “Therapy-Manager” sein.

03/25/2011: Vis-Group@EuroVis2011

This year’s Eurographics / IEEE Symposium on Visualization (EuroVis2011) takes places in Bergen, Norway during June 1–3. With all in all 54 accepted submissions, the acceptance rate for EuroVis 2011 was a little less than 29%. We are proud to announce that our two submissions have been approved for (1.) presentation at EuroVis, and (2.) for publication in a special issue of the journal Computer Graphics Forum (CGF).

Alexandra Baer, Rocco Gasteiger, Douglas Cunningham, and Bernhard Preim, “Perceptual Evaluation of Ghosted View Techniques for the Exploration of Vascular Structures and Embedded Flow”

Mathias Neugebauer, Gabor Janiga, Oliver Beuing, Martin Skalej and Bernhard Preim, “Anatomy-Guided Multi-Level Exploration of Blood Flow in Cerebral Aneurysms

01/26/2011: First Price in the Dirk Bartz Eurographics Medical Price Competition

A team consisting of our external Phd students Ivo Rössling, Jana and Lars Dornheim and our cooperation partners at the University Hospital Leipzig (Andreas Boehm) will be awarded with the Eurographics Medical Prize, named after Dirk Bartz, the pioneer of medical visualization. The work entitled “The Tumor Therapy Manager and its Clinical Impact” receives the first price. The jury honoured this work because of its nice integration of relevant techniques and its proven clinical value. The price will be given at the Eurographics main conference in April and is donated with 500 €.


Since January 3rd, Ralph Brecheisen is with the Visualization Group. Ralph is a Phd student in his final year from the Biomedical Image Analysis group in Eindhoven. Ralph is interested in DTI and uncertainty visualization in fiber tracking but also more general in quantification and 3D interaction. Ralph stays four weeks and has many discussions with all group members, in particular with Rocco and Mathias about blood flow data since there is also a lot of postprocessing involved and interaction is challenging.

01/10/2011: New photo galleries available
There are five new galleries with photos of our last year's social events available.

11/16/2010: German textbook ” Interaktive Systeme
The German textbook “Interaktive Systeme” is now ready and can be delivered. It is a comprehensive introductory textbook which covers basics from psychology, GUI design and information visualization with a mixture of theories, guidelines and real-world examples. The book should serve as companion material for a Bachelor course on HCI but also contains material primarily aiming at usability professionals.

10/13/2010: “Corinna Vehlow Excellent Master Thesis Defended”

Corinna Vehlow yesterday finished her study of Computational Visualistics with an excellent defense of her Master thesis “Visualization Toolkit for Contact Density Potentials within Amino Acid Neighborhoods in Protein Structures”. She carried out her Master project at the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics in the Bioinformatics/Structural Proteomics group headed by Dr. Michael Lappe. Her work aims at supporting prediction of the folding of protein structures. As a prerequisite, Corinna had to dive deeply in molecular cell biology to understand the chemical and spatial structure of proteins as well as their function. She also had to understand, not only the basics, but also current research questions and to derive requirements for her tool. The core of the thesis is the design and development of a toolkit which incorporates assumptions and probabilities for interactions between amino acid residues. The 3D information was projected in a Contact Map which supports the investigations of biologists. Informal feedback of the users clearly indicates that additional insights are gained with her toolkit. A journal paper summarizing the major results is currently under review. Her thesis, written in excellent English, was graded with 1.0 from both reviewers.

09/30/2010: “Anja Perlich erfolgreich Ihr Bachelor-Studium der Computervisualistik abgeschlossen”

Anja Perlich hat mit großem Erfolg Ihr Bachelor-Studium der Computervisualistik beendet. Mehrfach zog es sie dabei nach Frankreich, wobei sie mit einem Erasmus-Stipendium ein in Grenoble studiert hat. Sie hat im Studium sich vor allem auf medizinische Anwendungen konzentriert und ihr Berufspraktikum in Paris bei der Firma EOS Imaging ( durchgeführt. Dort war sie eingebunden in ein internationales Team, dass sich zur Aufgabe gemacht hat, die Diagnose und Therapie degenerierender und deformierender orthopädischer Erkrankungen, z.B. Fehlstellungen von Gelenken, wesentlich zu verbessern. Dreidimensionale Visualisierungen und präzise Quantifizierungen sollen dabei die bisherige Planung auf Basis von zweidimensionalen Röntgenbildern verbessern. In ihrer Bachelor-Arbeit hat sie den Entwurf und die Realisierung einer Software vorgestellt, mit dem Knieoperationen geplant werden können und dabei eine ganz konkrete Unterstützung für häufige Operationstypen ermöglicht. Die schriftliche Arbeit und die Verteidigung wurden mit der seltenen Höchstnote von 1.0 bewertet.

06/28/2010: “Konrad Mühler defended his Phd thesis

With an excellent presentation Konrad nicely rounded up his Phd thesis on computer-assisted surgery. Konrad developed and refined techniques for animation, viewpoint determination and annotation of 2d slices and 3d models thus supporting the use of 3d models for surgical education and training. Together with Christian Tietjen he integrated his development in the METK - an efficient extension to Mevislab which supports the fast development of surgical applications. A major achievement of his work was the concept and realization of the LiverSurgeryTrainer - a system which directly supports the training of preoperative decisions in liver surgery based on a representative set of case data.

The commission with external reviewers Prof. Thomas Ertl and Prof. Karl-Heinz Höhne lead by Prof. Dietmar Rösner assessed his overall achievements with the best possible grade “Summa Cum Laude”.

06/07/2010: Steffen Oeltze: Excellent PhD thesis

Steffen Oeltze has defended his Phd thesis “Visual Exploration and Analysis of Perfusion Data”. Steffen dealt with the visual exploration and visual analysis of perfusion data and their applications in the diagnosis of the coronary heart disease, in breast tumor and cerebral stroke diagnosis. To tackle clinically relevant problems in a uniform way, he developed a pipeline including preprocessing, data analysis and visual exploration. Steffen has cooperated with the VRVis in Vienna and the visualization group in Bergen as well as with colleagues from Fraunhofer MEVIS . Also several clinical partners were involved in this endeavor. Specific results have been published already in IEEE TVCG and IEEE TMI as well as EuroVis. The thesis was graded with the highest possible “Summa Cum Laude”. External reviewers have been Prof. Helwig Hauser (Bergen, Norway) and Prof. Frits Post (Delft, The Netherlands) .

05/18/2010: Christoph Russ: Excellent Master thesis

Christoph Russ has successfully completed his study in computational visualistics with an extraordinary master thesis on virtail endoscopy. Christoph dealt with virtual endoscopy already in the practical stage of his study where he worked in Australia on that topic.

The master thesis was accomplished at SIEMENS Corporate Research, Princeton, New Jersey and jointly supervised by Dr. Patric Ljung and Christoph Kubisch (Visualization research group, Univ. Magdeburg). In his thesis, Christoph Russ developed new methods for an automatic and realistic display of the colon wall and colon wall abnormalities for virtual colonoscopy, an endoscopic procedure to detect colon cancer at an early stage. Christoph used modern computer graphics hardware in a sophisticated manner.

The core aspects of the thesis have already been published at the well-known Volume Graphics conference, where Christoph presented the work as first author of the scientific publication. He was awarded a master degree with distinction for his extraordinary achievements.

04/21/2010: Eurographics Workshop on Visual Computing in Biology and Medicine

  • This year's Eurographics Workshop on Visual Computing in Biology and Medicine ( takes places in Leipzig in early July. Our group will be represented with three full papers.

    Alexandra and Kerstin dealt with general problems of surgical planning and developed a methodology to classify anatomic structures in focus, focus-near and context structures. This enables them to choose appropriate rendering parameters to directly support surgical questions, such as infiltration, viability of surgical removal with a security margin.

    Tobias developed a new method to generate smooth and accurate surface models from segmentation results. His smoothing approach detects artifacts resulting from slices and corrects them without introducing additional errors in other portions of anatomic structures.

    Rocco will present a research result from the MOBESTAN-project. He developed methods to simultaneously visualize simulated blood flow as streamlines and the anatomic context. He employed and adapted smart visibility and illustrative rendering techniques to support the interpretation of the data by clinical experts.

Alexandra Baer Kerstin Kellermann Rocco Gasteiger Tobias Mönch

03/16/2010: BVM-Award für Florian Wagner

Der BVM-Award (Bildverarbeitung für die Medizin) wurde auf der gleichnamigen Tagung an den Magdeburger Computervisualisten Florian Wagner verliehen. Damit wird seine herausragende Diplomarbeit mit dem Thema „Verbesserung eines Systems für die Diagnose von Herdbefunden in Mammogrammen“ gewürdigt. Dabei wurde mit ausgefeilten Methoden der Bildverarbeitung versucht, die diagnostische Auswertung von Mammogrammen, also von Röntgenaufnahmen der weiblichen Brust, hinsichtlich von krebsverdächtigen Herden zu verbessern. Diese Methoden sind vor allem wichtig, um eine effiziente Früherkennung von Brustkrebs bzw. seinen Vorstufen zu erkennen. Die Diplomarbeit wurde am Fraunhofer-Institut für Integrierte Schaltungen IIS, Erlangen durchgeführt und gemeinsam von der AG Visualisierung der OvGU und der dortigen Abteilung Medizintechnik (Dr. Thomas Wittenberg) betreut. Florian Wagner ist es gelungen, dass dort bereits existierende System um wesentliche Komponenten zu erweitern, die vor allem den Rand eines verdächtigen Befundes mit komplexen mathematischen Methoden analysiert. Bei der Anwendung der Methoden auf eine große Menge „echter“ Patientendaten, bei denen eine gesicherte Diagnose vorliegt, konnte tatsächlich eine verbesserte Detektion erreicht werden. Das entwickelte System kann die Arbeit eines Radiologen sinnvoll ergänzen, indem es auf verdächtige Regionen hinweist. Eine komplett automatische Analyse ist weder möglich noch sinnvoll.

01/14/2010: FIN-Forschungspreis

  • Konrad Mühler (zweiter von rechts) hat einen der beiden FIN-Forschungspreise des Jahres 2009 erhalten. Mit dem von der Firma METOP gesponsorten Preis wird die beste wissenschaftliche Einzelleistung gewürdigt. Die Auszeichnung erfolgt für das Paper “The Medical Exploration Toolkit: An Efficient Support for Visual Computing in Surgical Planning and Traingin” (Autoren: Konrad Mühler, Christian Tietjen, Felix Ritter, Bernhard Preim), das in der Zeitschrift IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics erschienen ist. Dabei wird eine innovative und sehr leistungsfähige Softwarebibliothek vorgestellt, die es erleichtert maßgeschneiderte Anwendungen für die chirurgische Planung und Ausbildung zu erstellen. Die von den Autoren in den letzten Jahren entwickelten Softwarekomponenten stehen mit dieser Bibliothek weltweit zur Verfügung.

11/19/2009: Best Presenter Award@VMV

08/25/2009 Vis-Group@VMV

  • The visualization group will present 3 papers at the VMV (Vision, Modelling and Visualization) conference: Alexandra Baer et al.: “Perception-based Evaluation of Emphasis Techniques Used in 3D Medical Visualization.” Sylvia Glaßer et al.: “A Visual Analytics Approach to Diagnosis of Breast DCE-MRI Data” Konrad Mühler et al.: “Automatic Textual Annotation for Surgical Planning”

06/22/2009 Bernhard Preim Elected as 1st Vice President of the CURAC

  • On June 22, Bernhard Preim was elected as 1st vice president at the general meeting of the German Gesellschaft für Computer- und Robotergestützte Chirurgie (CURAC) in Berlin. The tenure is two years. The society consists of approx. 230 members, whereas surgeons hold the majority. The society aims at the support of the application of computer technology for the preparation and implementation of surgical interventions. Important aims that are to be reached during this tenure along with the new president, Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Joerg Schipper (Duesseldorf), comprise the extension of contacts to the industry, a goal-oriented and intense interaction with the members, and the development of new focuses, e.g., in the field of surgical education.

30.04.2009 Prof. Charl Botha für einen Monat zu Gast am ISG

  • Prof. Charl Botha, Leiter der Arbeitsgruppe Medizinische Visualisierung an der Universität Delft (Niederlande) ist vom 14. April bis 15. Mai 2009 Gast unserer AG Visualisierung. In dieser Zeit setzt er seine Forschungen auf dem Gebiet der vergleichenden medizinischen Visualisierung fort. In der Radiologie und Chirurgie ist eine gebräuchliche und wiederkehrende Aufgabe der Vergleich von Bilddaten eines Patienten, die an verschiedenen Punkten und/oder mit verschiedenen Modalitäten, wie z.B. Magnetresonanztomographie und Computertomographie, erhalten wurden. Speziell müssen Ärzte z.B. die Form und Größe von Tumoren nach einer Behandlung bewerten, um feststellen zu können, ob die Behandlung fortgesetzt oder beendet werden sollte. Ohne die geeignete Unterstützung sind solche Entscheidungen mental schwierig. Prof. Botha entwickelte ein allgemeines Rahmenwerk für diese Vergleiche und sondiert Projekte der AG Visualisierung, um bestimmte Bereiche auszuwählen, in denen sein allgemeines Rahmenwerk erfolgreich angewandt werden kann. Zudem kooperiert Prof. Botha mit unsere AG bezüglich der Vorbereitung gemeinsamer Tutorials für die Konferenzen IEEE Visualization und Computer-Assisted Radiology and Surgery.