Magazine article The Futurist

Titanium Used for Skull Defects: New Models, New Materials Aid Reconstructive Surgery

Magazine article The Futurist

Titanium Used for Skull Defects: New Models, New Materials Aid Reconstructive Surgery

Article excerpt

Scientists are using titanium and virtual neurosurgery to help patients suffering from severe skull defects.

Titanium provides a tough, biocompatible implant that can be shaped to fit a patient's skull. A cranial defect--basically a hole in the skull caused by surgery or trauma--may require filling in or covering up, depending on its size and location. Normally, bone is used, but in some cases, bone may become infected and therefore unusable. Though skin and fat of the skull provide tough exterior protection for the brain where there is a skull defect, it may still be necessary to protect the brain from additional trauma.

Researchers at the University of Ulster generate physical models of patients' skull defects using three-dimensional imaging technology. These models are used by technicians at the School of Dentistry at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast to create matching titanium plates to repair damage to the skull. Once created, the final plate is fitted to the patient by a neurosurgeon.

The computer-aided process reduces surgery time and improves the accuracy of the titanium plate, according to John Winder of the University of Ulster. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.