Facial expressions are crucial for communication and social interaction. The aim of surgical interventions are to at least maintain or improve facial function in terms of speech, facial expression, mastication, as well as maintaining a good level of facial attractiveness. Patients with an abnormal range of facial movements resulting from, for example, craniofacial disharmony such as cleft lip and palate, and reconstruction after removal of pathologies or a stroke, can have a significant impact on the individual’s quality of life.
Led by a pioneer in the field of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Professor Ashraf F. Ayoub, the research team’s main objective at Glasgow Dental Hospital is to study facial deformities using the recent advances in 3D imaging.
A facial capture system was required to capture 3D images of patients’ soft-tissue surface pre- and post-surgery using stereo photogrammetry. It was crucial the system chosen delivered an extremely high fidelity of data to be able to analyse and compare these 3D images in order to quantify facial movements.
The team also wanted to capture not only single static 3D images, but also to capture a “4D” time sequence of up to sixty 3D images per second (i.e. 300 3D images in 5 seconds). They wanted to explore the clinical applications of this 4D imaging capability, including the accuracy of the tracking process, and how it may be used in the analysis of the oro-facial region.
After extensive research by Professor Ayoub, the Systems chosen which could best provide this capability were the DI3D and DI4D PRO Systems – fully able to meet the team’s requirements and assist in the validation of their research. The high fidelity of data these Systems delivered was crucial in allowing the team to quantify precise facial movements and assess facial animation.
The team has made significant advances in studying facial deformities and their work on investigating facial malformations is renouned and respected worldwide. Key points of validation attained to date include: using a 4D system to evaluate facial movements (Al Anzie T, et al , IJOMS, 2013), investigating the capture of facial morphology of children and young adults and validating the concept of stereophotogrammetry in recording and analysing facial morphology, (Ayoub A, et al, Cleft Craniofacial Journal, 2011), and the clinical application of using a 4D system to quantify the dynamics of facial animation, (Ayoub A, et al, IJOMS, 2014).
Numerous other research articles have been published in high profile academic journals including IJOMS, BJOMS and PNAS, with papers submitted and accepted at several major international conferences including ICOMS, IEEE Conferences and BAOMS Scientific Meetings.
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