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Medicine and Health Sciences


New imaging technologies and 3D rendering software, in addition to being useful diagnostic tools, allow us to augment patient education and further medical student and physician knowledge. 3D imaging modalities such as CT and MRI expedite the learning process for medical students, allow physicians to better visualize the anatomy and potential pathologies present, and aid in educating patients to help them better understand their conditions. We present here 3D interpretations from a sample of CT imaging studies of the cerebral vasculature, optic neural pathways, and paranasal sinuses. These data were obtained from the NIH Cancer Database, among other sources. The raw imaging data was imported into a third-party image analysis software called Amira, which was used to primarily facilitate 3D renderings. From there, the project images were further manipulated and enhanced utilizing other third-party programs, including Autodesk, Mesh Mixer, Adobe 3D Toolkit, and Softwarecasa Camtasia Studio, so that they could be exported as 3D prints, interactive 3D PDFs, and 3D animations. Analysis of data, 3D rendering, and construction of the final products all took place in the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine 3D Research Lab. Our intent for the first step in using these projects for medical education includes making these 3D models available to first-year gross anatomy curricula, with the goal of helping students better visualize structures that may otherwise be problematic to view in a cadaver. Our ultimate goal is to have 3D visualization technology incorporated into various facets of medical practice and education: for instance, this technology may help physicians incorporate 3D visualizations of various pathologies (e.g. exact locations of berry aneurysms) into their everyday practice and patient interactions.


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