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MIE.26 – Customization of Surgical Plates for Jaw Trauma Repair Using Rapid Bending Process Guided by CAT Scan Data

Team Members Heading link

  • David Halbur
  • Rebecca Lu
  • Jose Rodriguez
  • Alejandra Velasquesz

Project Description Heading link

Maxillofacial trauma, or trauma to the face or jaw, is a common occurrence in the Emergency Room, with road traffic accidents, falls, and assaults being the most common sources of fractures in the face. Repairing the jaw after trauma typically involves fixation using a titanium plate, but current methods for obtaining the right plate for the patient are slow, expensive, and can weaken the plate through overbending. This paper proposes a new method for customizing surgical plates for jaw surgeries using a rapid bending process guided by data obtained from a Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT) scan from the patient. This method is expected to reduce wear on the material and have a lower cost than current methods. The research team developed a mechanical method that uses a machine to make the necessary bends for the plate at precise angles in three different axes to follow the contour of the normal anatomy of a human jaw. The team mathematically modeled the shape of each unique human jaw using 3D models from CT scans extracting coordinates from the surface of the jaw along the desired path for the plate. The selected coordinates were used to determine vectors and calculate the relationship between each section of the plate using Euler’s angles. While the precision of this method compared to 3D printing or CNC milling remains to be validated, the goal of this new approach is to achieve noninferiority, where the results are close enough to current methods to be clinically insignificant, but with the added benefits of reduced cost and time. Overall, the development of this new method for customizing surgical plates has the potential to improve the treatment of maxillofacial trauma and benefit patients in the Emergency Room.