The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research recently awarded a Phase II STTR grant to UNC School of Dentistry and 3dMD. The grant is led by co-principal investigators Dr. Carroll Ann Trotman, an adjunct professor at the UNC School of Dentistry, and Mr. Chuck Heaston, who represents 3dMD.
This grant award coincides with the release of 3dMD’s latest-generation 4D technology. A precursor Phase I grant produced the proof of concept with the second-generation 4D technology. In Phase II, the research will be expanded into dynamic objective measures for assessing how a child’s face functions during various facial expressions and speech. In particular, the study focuses on evaluating facial shape change resulting from treatment intervention in children with cleft lip and palate. This project provides the foundation for the next level of widespread global research into objectively evaluating how a patient dynamically responds to intervention thus establishing a blueprint treatment plan focused on helping patients assimilate naturally into their community.
The project builds on Trotman’s long-term research into quantifying facial mobility. “In Phase I we demonstrated the ability to migrate my earlier research using marker-based motion capture devices to the state-of-the-art sequential 3D surface imaging platform developed by 3dMD,” said Trotman.“This transition will ensure that the anatomical 3D surface images collected during the course of the project will serve as a building block for future three-dimensional research into the effect of intervention on human expressional behavior and facial function.”