Oral Cancer Training Model


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2020-2021 Team
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Project Title
Oral Cancer Training Model
Design Challenge
In order to more effectively train healthcare professionals - including medical and dental students, practicing dentists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants - in both high and low-resource settings to diagnose oral cancer, a model is required that would teach hands-on techniques to differentiate between early stages of oral cancer and benign lesions. There is a tongue model in early stages of development that uses Dragon Skin and magnets for interchangeable lesions; however, this model has not been tested or received clinical feedback and would benefit from further work. The improved model should allow for discrimation between at least four different types of lesions (leukoplakia, erythroplakia, granuloma, and lichen planus), as well as cancer itself, by auto-fluorescence imaging, visual appearance, and palpation. The model should incorporate the entire oral cavity, with a focus on the realistic motion of the tongue, and be low-cost (<$200), portable, and durable in a variety of environmental conditions. The development of such a model has the potential to increase the diagnosis of oral cancer by helping to train health professionals, therefore decreasing the mortality associated with the disease. Future iterations of the model could potentially be expanded or modified to help train healthcare professions on taking biopsies to better diagnose disease.
We are currently working on standardizing the design process and expanding the lesion locations to throughout the oral cavity.
Design Summary
Five models have been created including four that model precancerous lesions and one that models oral cancer itself. All of these models have received positive feedback on white light realism and palpation and the base tongue of all of them fluoresces but not the lesion. We are currently gathering numerical feedback from our clinical mentors and hoping to further testing with climate testing and medical/dental students. We are also working on creating an oral cavity model so that the tongue model has a frame to rest in and expanding the location of the lesions to the sides of the tongue and throughout the oral cavity.

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Contact us

Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen
Rice University

6100 Main Street MS 390 | Houston, Texas | 77005

Phone: 713.348.OEDK

Email: oedk@rice.edu

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