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Saturday, July 23, 2016

3D-Printed Skulls May Better Prepare Doctors For Nose Surgery And Other Cranial Operations

The 3D-printed skulls created by the University of Virginia (UVA) may come disturbingly close to the uncanny valley — a theoretical dividing line which says the more human-like a replica becomes, the more disturbing it feels — but they’re proving to be a boon to both the future doctors of tomorrow and the patients they’ll someday treat.
Medical residents at UVA use these skulls to train themselves in the art of nasal endoscopy, a perhaps indelicate procedure that requires a long camera-fitted device to be inserted through the nose in order to get a closer look at various internal areas like the sinuses. Whereas residents would have first tested out their exploring skills on each other or by seeing it performed in front of them, the lifelike skull — its blueprint derived from the MRI and CT scans of actual patients — offers more room for trial and error.

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