Thanks to digital scanning and high-resolution 3D printing, a cancer survivor has been given a new jaw.
Shirley Anderson, a former mechanic who served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, was diagnosed with tongue cancer in 1998. The cancer was treated with years of surgery and radiation therapies, including a radium implant in his jaw that destroyed a significant portion of his facial tissue, leaving him without a jaw.
In 2012, his story was discovered by Dr Travis Bellicchi, a maxillofacial prosthetics specialist at the Indiana University School of Dentistry.
With the help of Professor Zeb Wood, a lecturer at the School of Media Arts and Sciences, Dr Bellicchi created a digital model of Shirley’s face using bone structure data from a CT scan and a 3D scan of his facial features. The team used the 3D printers at Formlabs to create a three-dimensional mold of Shirley’s face, which they then used for the prosthetic.
Not only is this new prosthetic far more realistic, it is also more breathable, lighter, and comfortable.
Although Shirley is still unable to talk, he recently wrote on his whiteboard: “I have my life going just as I want.”
Source: ifl science