Dissertation Research: An Application of 3D-CT Reconstruction Techniques and Finite Element Scaling to Fetal Cranio-facial Growth in Pigtailed Macaques
Joyce Sirianni Principal Investigator
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Physical anthropologists study the growth and development of our primate relatives because they offer insights into the evolution of our species. There have been many studies which investigate postnatal craniofacial growth of the pigtailed macaque. However, there is a paucity of data that describes the growth and development of the fetal craniofacial complex in this species. The purpose of this research is to construct a three dimensional model of the fetal craniofacial complex in the pigtailed macaque and describe its growth in three dimensions. Landmark data will be collected from three dimensional reconstructed computed tomographic images. Finite Element Scaling Analysis will be used to generate a three dimensional model and to describe the patterns of size and shape changes in the craniofacial complex through time. This research will provide the first three dimensional model of the fetal craniofacial complex in this species. Furthermore, it will provide baseline data for the discussion of evolutionary size and shape transformations during the fetal period throughout primates. Finally, a non-destructive method of data acquisition (3D-CT reconstructions) is introduced that can be used to study rare museum specimens.