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STTR Grant awarded to 3dMD LLC in conjunction with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for a Dynamic Facial Soft Tissue Analysis System (1R41DE019742-01A1)

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We are delighted to announce that 3dMD, working in conjunction with the Department of Orthodontics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been awarded a grant by the NIDCR department of the National Institute of Health (NIH) to support research into the dynamics of soft tissue associated with facial movement.

The goal of the project is to develop a technique for enumerating facial surface movements in the sub-nasal, mouth, and chin regions, where corrective surgery and dental intervention are used in the treatment of children with cleft lip and palate conditions. The measurement technique developed will enable a direct comparison of actual facial movement before and after intervention, as well as comparison to the facial movement of children with normal facial development. The end result will offer the clinician a much more effective evaluation methodology for surgical and dental treatment techniques and accelerate outcome simulation models for virtual 3D treatment planning systems.

The academic leadership is being provided by Professor Carroll Ann Trotman, BDS, MA, MS, who has been widely published during her career with previous research into dynamics using optical marker-based techniques for tracking facial movement.

Bringing together the extensive research undertaken by both parties during the past 10 years, this project will take advantage of the very latest in high-precision 3D motion capture technology. The 3dMD 4Dface System captures facial surface movements at rate of 60 3D frames per second with an accuracy level better than 0.25mm. By allowing every point on the surface to be tracked and measured rather than a small number of discrete points, the project will benefit from increased anatomical knowledge which is especially valuable when analyzing the more challenging structures associated with cleft lip and palate.

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