Applicability of Cranial Models in Urethane Resin and Foam as a Substitute for Bone: Are Synthetic Materials Reliable?

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As literature is poor in functional synthetic cranial models, in this study, synthetic handmade models of cranial vaults were produced in two different materials (a urethane resin and a self-hardening foam), from multiple bone specimens (eight original cranial vaults: four human and four swine), in order to test their resemblance to bone structure in behavior, during fracture formation. All the vaults were mechanically tested with a 2-kg impact weight and filmed with a high-speed camera. Fracture patterns were homogeneous in all swine vaults and heterogeneous in human vaults, with resin fractures more similar to bone fractures. Mean fracture latency time extrapolated by videos were of 0.75 msec (bone), 1.5 msec (resin), 5.12 msec (foam) for human vaults and of 0.625 msec (bone), 1.87 msec (resin), 3.75 msec (foam) for swine vaults. These data showed that resin models are more similar to bone than foam reproductions, but that synthetic material may behave quite differently from bone as concerns fracture latency times.

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