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Career Connections: Prosthetic Specialist

4 minutes

(Describer) Beside four different-size different-color circles connected by lines, title: Career Connections.

(Describer) Title: Prosthetic Specialist.

(woman) When you say prosthesis, you think of leg or an arm, but they don't really think about the skull.

(Describer) In an animation, an arrow points to a plate in a man’s skull.

My name is Jessie San. I am the case manager at OsteoSymbionics.

(Describer) She holds a skull model.

We create craniofacial implants for patients who have been through trauma, through a motorcycle accident or a car accident, or they have gone through craniotomy

(Describer) Removal of the skull.

to remove a brain tumor or an aneurysm, or they were born with a certain defect. They lose a piece of their skull. What we have to do then is design a prosthesis or an implant that fits that part of the skull that they lost. The process of creating a craniofacial implant starts with the patient's CT scan.

(Describer) ...that produces cross-sectional images of the body.

This is the CT software that we use to review the CT scan from each patient.

(Describer) The images are turned to different angles.

Using this software, we can create a 3D skull model of the patient.

(Describer) One is on-screen with a big hole in the skull.

So what you see here on the screen is...

(Describer) She makes the model bigger.

a 3D model of the patient's skull. This is what we use to create the template and the final implant for each patient. We'll create a skull model from the patient's own CT,

(Describer) She holds one.

and then I can design the implant for that patient, using our digital software. After we create a 3D skull model, I can import the file into the software, and using this, I can design the implant for this patient.

(Describer) She uses a digital pen.

So this is where science and design meet. It's the software. And then afterward, we'll fabricate and manufacture the final implant using a molding and casting process.

(Describer) She holds a flexible disc.

So this is what we designed on the digital software. We'll create a negative using this template. This is a plaster mold.

(Describer) She places the disc over the mold.

We do a molding process, and then what we get is

(Describer) She takes it off.

a negative impression of the template. Then we'll go ahead and fill this mold with the PMMA material and put it in the oven and heat cure the PMMA so that we get a positive final implant.

(Describer) A clear plastic material compatible with the human body.

[ding]

(Describer) One is shown.

Then afterward, we have technicians in the back, and they'll fit and finish a final implant so that every single one fits the skull model before they leave our facility to ensure that the surgeon has a near-perfect fit. There is an art aspect to designing these implants and a science aspect because everything has to fit perfectly. And you have to know the anatomy, the physiology, the biology that's behind each defect because you have to tailor each implant to what the surgeon and the patient needs. It's a great way of combining both art and science.

(Describer) A skull model with a hole in it sits on her desk as she works. Titles: For more information, visit OhioMeansJobs.com. WVIZ Ideastream. Copyright 2015. Funding to purchase and make this educational program accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the Department of Education by telephone at 1-800-USA-LEARN, or online at www.ed.gov.

Funding to purchase and make this educational production accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education:

PH: 1-800-USA-LEARN (V) or WEB: www.ed.gov.

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Meet a prosthetic specialist who combines her love of art and science to create state-of-the-art prosthetic implants for the human skull. Part of the "Career Connections" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 4 minutes

Career Connections
Episode 1
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 3
3 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 4
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 5
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 6
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 7
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 8
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 9
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 10
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12