BTN LiveBIG: Michigan library’s 3D lab opens new horizons for research

BTN LiveBIG: Michigan library’s 3D lab opens new horizons for research

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During football and basketball games, BTN LiveBIG will spotlight notable examples of research, innovation and community service from around the conference. In-Game stories will provide more background on these features, and the opportunity to view the videos again.

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Reality can be constrictive.

To cite one example, anatomy labs have limited resources. They don’t have unlimited funds, tests or — perhaps most importantly — cadavers. One mistake can effectively end any research that’s being done.

But the 3D lab at the University of Michigan is changing the game for this and other areas of study.

“[In] the anatomy lab, you … have a set of protocols that you need to follow,” said Thiago Nasciemento, a post-doctorate research fellow at Michigan’s Headache & Orofacial Pain Effort (HOPE). “You have specific hours and the limited number of cadavers that were donated to science.

“When you transport this to a software you can [work] faster. You can correct your mistake, you can see in angles that sometimes in the lab it’s harder for you to approach. When you’re working on software, you can actually just move your head and that’s the view you’re looking for.”

As the video above shows, the abilities of the 3D lab are opening opportunities for researchers in all kinds of fields. That contributes to multidisciplinary efforts like HOPE.

“You have a complete different perspective of how our brains are affected by chronic pain,” said Dr. Alex DaSilva, director of HOPE and faculty member at the School of Dentistry at University of Michigan. “[There are] areas that we have to target with specific therapies, and at the same time we think about the dissection of a cadaver. This amazing resource that the 3D lab developed helps our students and researchers better understand the topic and integrate research in a way that you could not have imagined 20 or 30 years ago.”

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