Scientists reconstruct a mother's face using a smartphone camera and 3D printer

Scientists have reconstructed a mother's face using a smartphone camera and 3D printer after she was left with a gaping hole due to skin cancer.

Brazilian researchers used the pioneering method to treat Denise Vicentin, 52, after she lost her right eye and part of her jaw when a tumour ravaged her face in 2010.

Mrs Vicentin became so self-conscious about her wound she avoided being seen in public and burst into tears when she caught her reflection in the mirror.

She has difficulty eating and her suffers from slurred speech because of the damage to her jaw. 

Over the years she was offered to have a hand-made prosthetic sculpted. But she refused because the procedure cost £384,000.

However, in 2018 Mrs Vicentin was referred to a team of researchers at Paulista University in Sao Paulo who had developed a cheaper, alternative treatment.

Denise Vicentin, 52, has had part of her face reconstructed using smartphones and 3D printers

Denise Vicentin, 52, has had part of her face reconstructed using smartphones and 3D printers

She lost her right eye and part of her jaw when a cancerous tumour ravaged her face in 2010 (doctors lining up the prosthetic)

 She lost her right eye and part of her jaw when a cancerous tumour ravaged her face in 2010 (doctors lining up the prosthetic)

Using smartphone cameras, researchers at Paulista University in Sao Paulo took photos of her face and built a digital 3D model on a computer (experts fitting fake eyelashes to the prosthetic to make it life-like)

Using smartphone cameras, researchers at Paulista University in Sao Paulo took photos of her face and built a digital 3D model on a computer (experts fitting fake eyelashes to the prosthetic to make it life-like)

Their method was a fraction of the cost and took half the time of traditional methods. 

Using a smartphone, doctors took 15 pictures of Mrs Vicentin's face from different angles, which were used to make a three-dimensional digital model on a computer. 

Technicians 3D-printed a prototype prosthetic which they used as a guideline to make the final one from silicone, resin and synthetic fibers.

To make the prosthesis as life-like as possible, the researchers carefully painted it to match Mrs Vicentin's skin and blue-green eye.

The process for making the final prosthesis took 12 hours - half the time of conventional methods.

But the entire process was spread out over a year as she underwent surgeries to prepare for it to be fitted. 

Doctors had to implant titanium hooks in her eye socket to hold the prosthesis in place. She had it fitted in early December. 

The small, egg-sized piece fit perfectly, with magnets clipping it to the metal implants.

Mrs Vicentin said she now feels comfortable enough to walk around in public – something she had avoided for years.

The entire process was spread out over a year as she underwent surgeries to prepare for the prosthetic to be fitted. She had metal clips implanted in her eye socket to hold it in place

The entire process was spread out over a year as she underwent surgeries to prepare for the prosthetic to be fitted. She had metal clips implanted in her eye socket to hold it in place

To make the prosthesis as real-looking as possible, the researchers carefully matched its colouring to Mrs Vicentin's skin and blue-green eye

To make the prosthesis as real-looking as possible, the researchers carefully matched its colouring to Mrs Vicentin's skin and blue-green eye

Mrs Vicentin's journey to recovery is not over yet as she needs further treatment to restore her jaw and top lip - but she now has the confidence to go out in public again (she hugs the medical team after giving her a new lease of life)

Mrs Vicentin's journey to recovery is not over yet as she needs further treatment to restore her jaw and top lip - but she now has the confidence to go out in public again (she hugs the medical team after giving her a new lease of life)

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She added: '[Before] when I was on the metro or train, I tried not

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