Characterization of an Artificial Skull Cap for Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery Training

Marianne Hollensteiner, David Fürst, Peter Augat, Falk Schrödl, Benjamin Esterer, Stefan Gabauer, Stefan Hunger, Michael Malek, Daniel Stephan, Andreas Schrempf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Cranial grafts are favored to reconstruct skeletal defects because of their reduced resorption and their histocompatibility. Training possibilities for novice surgeons include the “learning by doing” on the patient, specimens or simulators. Although the acceptance of simulators is growing, the major drawback is the lack of validated bone models. The aim of this study was to create and validate a realistic skull cap model and to show superiority compared to a commercially available skull model. Characteristic forces during machinery procedures were recorded and thickness parameters from the bony layers were obtained. The thickness values of the bone layers of the developed parietal bone were comparable to the human ones. Differences between drilling and sawing forces of human and artificial bones were not detected using statistical analysis. In contrast the parameters of the commercially available skull model were significantly different. However, as a result, a model-based simulator for tabula externa graft lift training, consisting of a brain, skull bone cap and covering soft tissues was created. This simulator enables the training of all procedural steps of a “split thickness graft lift”. In conclusion, an artificial skull cap suitable for parietal graft lift training was manufactured and validated against human parietal bones.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


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