We have developed a shape model of the human mandible in which the main modes of variation can be visualized in three dimensions and studied. The model is controlled by a small number of parameters. It will be of use in obtaining a better understanding of the geometry of the mandible and the shape factors that contribute to difficult intubation. We hope to combine the model with our earlier work on finite element modelling of the tongue,1 to produce a full model of the human upper airway, which can be incorporated in computer simulations for medical education, training and preoperative prediction of difficult laryngoscopy.
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