Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

LaDisa, John F.

Second Advisor

Rayz, Vitaliy

Third Advisor

Garcia, Guilherme


Virtual reality (VR) can stimulate active learning, critical thinking, decision making and improved performance. It requires a medium to show virtual content, which is called a virtual environment (VE). The MARquette Visualization Lab (MARVL) is an example of a VE. Robust processes and workflows that allow for the creation of content for use within MARVL further increases the userbase for this valuable resource. A workflow was created to display biomedical computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and complementary data in a wide range of VE’s. This allows a researcher to study the simulation in its natural three-dimensional (3D) morphology. In addition, it is an exciting way to extract more information from CFD results by taking advantage of improved depth cues, a larger display canvas, custom interactivity, and an immersive approach that surrounds the researcher. The CFD to VR workflow was designed to be basic enough for a novice user. It is also used as a tool to foster collaboration between engineers and clinicians. The workflow aimed to support results from common CFD software packages and across clinical research areas. ParaView, Blender and Unity were used in the workflow to take standard CFD files and process them for viewing in VR. Designated scripts were written to automate the steps implemented in each software package. The workflow was successfully completed across multiple biomedical vessels, scales and applications including: the aorta with application to congenital cardiovascular disease, the Circle of Willis with respect to cerebral aneurysms, and the airway for surgical treatment planning. The workflow was completed by novice users in approximately an hour. Bringing VR further into didactic teaching within academia allows students to be fully immersed in their respective subject matter, thereby increasing the students’ sense of presence, understanding and enthusiasm. MARVL is a space for collaborative learning that also offers an immersive, virtual experience. A workflow was created to view PowerPoint presentations in 3D using MARVL. A resulting Immersive PowerPoint workflow used PowerPoint, Unity and other open-source software packages to display the PowerPoint presentations in 3D. The Immersive PowerPoint workflow can be completed in under thirty minutes.