One of the largest facial 3D scanning projects has begun thanks to researchers from Imperial College London and London’s Royal Free Hospital. 6,000 citizens have volunteered their faces in a grand effort to build up a data portfolio that could significantly help surgeons create more realistic results for patients suffering from facial disfiguration.
CT scan imagery has guided surgeons so far in successful facial transplants, but after the amazing results from a smartphone photogrammetry app, helping a cancer patient from Brazil in 2016, the overwhelming application of 3D scanning has been recognised by those who are keen to encourage a speedy progression.
Researchers worked with Great Ormond Street back in 2012, scanning 12,000 faces with a neutral expression. The researchers at Imperial College London and London’s Royal Free Hospital are working to gather a greater diversity of data – including race, age, facial shape and even facial expression. Working from the 12,000 neutral faces and adding 6,000 more detailed scans will help plastic surgeons develop more natural looking reconstructive results; ultimately improving quality of life for those who have suffered a trauma or have been living with deformities from birth.
Dr. Salazar worked with Brazilian patient, Carlito Conceiçao, after a cancerous tumour was removed, unfortunately leaving Conceiçao without his right eye, socket and part of his nose. Salazar used mobile app ‘Autodesk 123D Catch’ and just 15 image scans of Conceiçao to develop a model for 3D printing, raving of how inexpensive yet effective the method was. The improvement of the prosthetic left the patient in tears of joy.
The ease and cost effective method demonstrated by Salazar means, through collecting a library of facial scans, a more affordable way for surgeons to help many more patients suffering from facial disfigurement can be developed.
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