Medical Rapid Prototyping Technologies: State of the Art and Current Limitations for Application in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
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This paper was based on research work carried out by the Medical Applications Group of PDR into the application of advanced design techniques, in particular the use of computer-aided design and rapid prototyping techniques, in head and neck surgery. This article reported on an analysis of the research of two authors at different institutes who had both undertaken a large body of work in the application of advanced design technologies in medicine. It was a collaboration between PDR-MAG and the School of Applied Medical Sciences & Sports Studies at the University of Ulster. This article addressed the success factors required in the application of design technologies in the production of exact physical models of patient anatomy. Such models are used by surgeons and prosthetists to plan surgery and prefabricate implants and surgical guides. The use of these models enhances accuracy and confidence, whilst significantly reducing the duration of operations. The analysis was based on the findings of a combined 17 years of research experience in this field. These findings have enabled researchers around the world to eliminate common errors and avoid techniques that the research had demonstrated as inappropriate or unsuccessful. The decision to report in collaboration produced a paper of broader scope and enabled a more thorough analysis than would have been possible individually. Previous work in this area had focused on single case studies. In contrast, this paper was based on a large sample of cases using a wide range of techniques and technologies increasing its significance and value. In addition, the reporting of common errors and, more importantly, methods to avoid them was original and had not been widely reported previously.
63 (7), pp.1006-15
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