SORG Grant funds Dina Amin's work on orbital trauma and reconstruction

February 2021

The Strasbourg Osteosynthesis Group (SORG) has granted funding to a project to establish critical size defect for orbital reconstruction led by Emory oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dina Amin, DDS, FACS. Dr. Amin's co-investigators will be her Emory OMS colleagues Shelly Abramowicz, DMD, MPH, FACS, and Steven Roser, DMD, MD, FACS, and Michael Fisher, MS, director of product development for the Global Center for Medical Innovation.

With this project, Dr. Amin and her team hope to discover the value of critical size defect for orbital reconstruction as well as which implant is appropriate depending on the size of the defect.

Reconstruction of orbital anatomy is a challenging area in craniomaxillofacial trauma, particularly because precise measurement of orbital volume (OV) is required to restore orbital symmetry. Incorrect OV can lead to ocular dystopia (vertical asymmetry), enophthalmos (antero-posterior asymmetry), and/or diplopia (double vision).

In addition, while numerous studies have investigated the properties for an ideal material for orbital reconstruction, none have determined the ability of various orbital reconstructive materials to support the weight of internal orbital contents across different sizes of orbital defects.

Using 3D printed orbit models with different defect sizes created from patient CT scans, the team will evaluate the support strength of the implants and the defect size at which they fail. They will then use the values of the mechanical failing points to predict the appropriate implant based on the size of defect, and develop an algorithm that surgeons can use to determine the implants that are best for treating particular defect sizes.

This project draws on Dr. Amin's experience in orbital reconstruction following ablative resection and traumatic injuries, and her interest in the clinical application of 3D printing. Most recently, she was able to refine her 3D printing skills when she led a team early in the pandemic that printed hundreds of face shields for healthcare workers. She is also the PI for a study comparing pre-adapted patient-specific orbital implants utilizing an office-based 3D printer with standard, non-adapted orbital implants.

"We hope this laboratory-based study will provide the preliminary data needed to conduct a second study with different orbital reconstruction materials, followed by in-vivo testing," she says.