European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
Cover Volume 19 - Number 4
Eur J Anat, 19 (4): 343-349 (2015)

A low-cost system to acquire 3D surface data from anatomical samples

Davide Viggiano1, Theodoros Thanassoulas2, Cinzia Di-Cesare1, Giovanna Cacciola1, Nicola M. Giorgio2, Theodoros Pitsios3, Cosimo Passiatore2

1Dept. Medicine and Health Sciences, Univ. Molise, Campobasso, Italy; now at: Department of Cardio-Thoracic and Respiratory Science, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy 2Dip. Salute Mentale e Fisica e Medicina Preventiva, Second Univ. Naples, Naples, Italy and 3Anthropological Museum of the National and Kapodistrian, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

ABSTRACT The technology of optical 3D imaging sensors or 3D scanners (laser and structured light sensors) has become widely available over the last few years. A wider diffusion of this technique in anatomical laboratories could lead to a revolution in the field of anatomy: cadaver dissections could be easily documented in 3D, and specimens stored in museums could be easily scanned and the 3D models shared. In the present article, a simple, versatile, economical and widespread 3D scanner, the Kinect sensor, is validated to show its potential use for 3D scanning of anatomical specimens.The comparison of 3D models of anatomical specimens (a collection of skulls) with the respective 2D photographs showed that 3D models were superior to the photographs, the latter being affected by some distortions due to perspective. Moreover, the 3D models allowed for measuring angles, distances, circumferences between every part of the model, or measuring volumes and surfaces, which, of course, were not available using the 2D images. Due to the low cost of this system, its simplicity of use and its widespread availability, it is desirable that in the future, anatomical specimens from museums will become more available as 3D objects. These could greatly simplify the quantitative analysis of rare specimens, such as fetal monstrosities or anatomical variations.

Keywords: Anatomical specimens, Measurements, 3D scanning, Validation, Skull, Bones

European Journal of anatomy
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)