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Digital Holography Helps Plastic Surgeons Reshape Abnormal Skulls of Children.

SANTA FE, N.M.--(BW HealthWire)--Sept. 15, 1997--Dr. David Furnas, Chief of the Department of Plastic Surgery at the University of California-Irvine Medical Center, will report tomorrow how the Digital Holography(TM) System from Voxel(TM) (NASDAQ:VOXL) is helping plastic surgeons reshape congenitally malformed skulls.

The holograms produced by the system have helped clinicians diagnose craniofacial problems, create pre-surgical plans, and intraoperatively measure and reconstruct these misshapened skulls. Dr. Furnas will present his findings at the annual meeting of the International Society of Cranio-Facial Surgery.

The Digital Holography System uses data routinely collected by Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance (MR) scanners to produce true three-dimensional images. The Voxgram(TM) images are life-size, transparent holograms that literally extend out in space, enabling physicians to interact in, around and through the image as if it were a real specimen of anatomy.

Over a period of 18 months, Dr. Furnas has used holograms made from CT data in planning his osteotomies. In this procedure, the deformed portion of the skull is cut into components that are reassembled as a self-supporting cranial framework that allows the brain room for growth. Proper design of tenons, mortises, dovetails and struts is essential.

Dr. Furnas found that six special qualities of the holograms make them particularly useful clinically. Because the image is life size, skull configuration can be evaluated precisely. Because the dimensions are faithful and the image translucent, "linear and angular measurements are true to life" and "skeletal features in the background are not obscured by those in the foreground."

For example, Dr. Furnas related that a proposed dovetail, which appeared to be properly located when viewed on a plastic skull model rendered from CT data, was redesigned because the digital hologram showed the dovetail actually encroached on the adjoining area.

Another important quality of the holograms is their "dynamic" perspective. Simply by changing the angle of view, the viewer can often identify "puzzling structures" and see "small or lucent objects, which are obscured from a single viewpoint." Additionally, different data sets (for example, from CT and MR angiography data) can be "fused" and the images viewed as one.

Finally, the interactive hologram allows physicians to test "templates for bone grafts or for the advancement or recession of skull components." (Holograms for Evaluating Craniofacial Problems and for Planning Craniofacial Surgery, Scientific Paper 43, Tuesday, September 16, 3-minute presentation, the 13th of 14 papers in the New Technology Session, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Furnas DW, Greene CS, Geil GE, Schulz RA, DiSaia JP)

Other Studies

In addition to the research being done by Dr. Furnas, physicians at several other prominent medical institutions throughout the country have studied Digital Holography, including Massachusetts General Hospital-Harvard Medical School, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Stanford University Medical Center and the Ryder Trauma Center-University of Miami.

The Voxel Digital Holography System was awarded FDA clearance in September 1995. In January 1997, Voxel was awarded patents from the U.S. Patent Office for 13 claims, including five independent claims covering the company's method for making multiple-exposure holograms. In December 1996, the AMA notified Voxel that holography was reimbursable under CPT code 73675.

Voxel, based in Laguna Hills, California, is a public company founded to develop, manufacture and market holographically based, volumetric display systems. -0-

Note to Editors: Voxel and Digital Holography are trademarks of Voxel.

CONTACT: Voxel, Laguna Hills

Raymond Schulz, 714/348-3200

rschulz@voxel.com

or

Communications Plus

Kay Paumier, 510/656-8512

kayp@compluspr.com
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Date:Sep 15, 1997
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