The Computer-Aided Surgery group (GMCAO: Gestes Médico-Chirurgicaux Assistés par Ordinateur) of TIMC laboratory aims at assisting surgeons for the realization of diagnostic and therapeutic gestures that have to be safe and precise. In this framework, numerical models of human anatomical structures have been developed (the terms "physical" or "biomechanical" models are often used) to help surgeons planning their surgical acts, and in a much long-term project to assist the per-operative guiding of the gesture.
In a first extend, models are used to replicate and to understand the behavior of the human mechanical structures. Then, once the models are validated, they can be used to numerically simulate the consequences of the surgery on these structures. This last step is of course the main objective for a CAS modeling application, but it should not occult the huge amount of work required to build up and to validate a model, as well as the fundamental role of a model in the understanding of physical phenomena.