Technical note: Virtual reconstruction of a fragmentary clavicle

Authors

  • Stefano Benazzi,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Palaeoanthropology and Messel Research, Senckenberg Research Institute, D-60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    • Department of Palaeoanthropology and Messel Research, Senckenberg Research Institute, Senckenberganlage 25, D-60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
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  • Marco Orlandi,

    1. Department of History and Method for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage, University of Bologna, 48100 Ravenna, Italy
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  • Giorgio Gruppioni

    1. Department of History and Method for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage, University of Bologna, 48100 Ravenna, Italy
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Abstract

We report a procedure for the virtual reconstruction of incomplete human bones applicable to skeletal remains from archaeological excavations or to reconstructive and prosthetic surgery. To test the procedure, we reconstructed a fragmented left clavicle on the basis of the contralateral clavicle. The procedure involved 3-D laser scanner acquisition of the left clavicle (complete but broken into two parts), the same manually reconstructed bone, and the intact right clavicle, which was mirror-imaged and used as a reference for the reconstruction of the whole left clavicle. Because it was not possible to recognize homologous anatomical landmarks, on the two reference models (a mirror-image copy of the right clavicle and the main fragment of the left), we identified three grids with an increasing number of corresponding landmarks, which constituted the framework of the deformation process. The three reconstructed digital models of the clavicle closely approximated the model of the original clavicle. They also showed that an increasing number of landmarks did not significantly improve the reconstructed model. Am J Phys Anthropol 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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