The project, Me in 3D, opened on Tuesday and will encourage participants to volunteer to have their photograph taken with a 3D camera and explore what their faces look like in another dimension. The photographs collected will then be used by the researchers to study patterns in face shape. This could help the surgeons improve treatment for patients with facial disfigurement.
The project is part of the Science Museum’s ongoing Live Science programme, where visitors can volunteer to take part in real experiments conducted by visiting scientists, which take place on the first floor of the Wellcome Wing.
Priya Umachandran, Contemporary Science Developer at the Science Museum said, “The Science Museum thrives on engaging visitors in the latest contemporary science issues and our Live Science programme lets visitors meet the experts and involves the public directly in cutting-edge research which has an impact upon all of us.”
Tim Lloyd, consultant maxillofacial surgeon and surgical lead for craniofacial surgery at UCH and the EDH, said: “This project is fantastic and is going to provide us with the largest data set in the world on facial variation which will be key to the development and planning of the treatment of complex facial deformity.”
Cliff Ruff, from UCH's Medical Physics and Bioengineering Department and the technical lead for the project said: "Collecting this data in a large public area is an exciting opportunity. Being able to describe and demonstrate our work to members of the public whilst building the database is very rewarding."
Dr Chris Abela, Senior Craniofacial Fellow, Great Ormond Street Hospital said:
“We know a lot about the bones in our faces but little is known about what makes our face the shape it is and about the skin and muscles that make up our face. By collecting as many 3D face photographs as we can we will have a greater understanding of our complex faces, and have greater knowledge to plan and perform the best facial surgery in the future. This is a really exciting event and we want as many children, young people and adults to come and see themselves in 3D.”
Me in 3D will run until 10 April. The experiments are FREE and open to all visitors and no booking is required. For more information visit http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/mein3d or http://www.mein3d.info/