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Research Assessment #2 for MP5 (Mentor Assessment Alternate)

I met with my mentor last week and had a fruitful meeting. I did not schedule another meeting

with him this week because my Original Work is a project that requires significant time in

between mentor visits. I cant make significant progress on my Original Work in a week such that

it requires another mentor meeting because having it in such a short and relatively uneventful

time will be futile. Instead, I will replace this weeks mentor assessment with a research

assessment because doing so more closely parallels what I do in between spaced-out mentor

visits which is researching and gradually modeling an intricate skull.

Topic: Oculoplastic Surgery

Mentor: Dr. Ronald Mancini

Resource: PowerPoint authored and lectured by Dr. Mancini

Topic of Resource: Cranium and Nasolacrimal Anatomy with Emphasis on Puncta


I would like to write an assessment that summarizes my learning over the past month

over the skull and nasolacrimal anatomy, which are the most relevant research subjects to me for

my entire Original Work project.

The cranium is one of the most complicated structures in the human body, so anatomists

divide it into several regions to describe the multi-faceted functionality of its structures. The

schematic shown on the next page gives an overview of the anterior plane of the skull.
The middle and

upper portions of the skull are the areas of interest for oculoplastic surgeons. In reality, there is so

much more than bone to deal with. Layers of muscle, subcutaneous fat, and skin encompass a

shock of blood vessels and nerves, and such components and even the lack of components

(spatial cavities) are important when performing delicate surgeries of the orbital system.

However, the objectives of my project primarily focus on the bony skull, so it is what I will be

describing. Below is a summary of notes I have compiled.

The Head
Osteology of the skull
- Cranium is the skeleton of the head
o Neurocranium (top dome-shaped part)
Is the bony covering of the brain and its membranous coverings, the
cranial meninges
Contains proximal parts of the cranial nerves and vasculature of the brain
Parts: consists of calvaria (skullcap) and basicranium (cranial base)
Composition: in adults, neurocranium is composed of a series of eight
Four singular bones
o Frontal
o Ethmoidal
o Sphenoidal
o Occipital
Bilateral pairs
o Temporal
o Parietal
o Viscerocranium (maxilla and mandible)
Comprises the facial bones
Forms the anterior part of the cranium
Consists of the bones surrounding the mouth (upper and lower jaws),
nose/nasal cavity, and most of the orbits (eye sockets or orbital cavities)
Composition: fifteen irregular bones
Three singular bones
o Mandible
o Ethmoid
o Vomer
Six bilateral paired bones
o Maxillae
o Inferior nasal conchae
o Zygomatic
o Palatine
o Nasal
o Lacrimal bones

The Nasolacrimal System

Embryology The nasolacrimal drainage system serves as a conduit for tear flow from the

external eye to the nasal cavity. It consists of the puncta, canaliculi, lacrimal sac, and,

nasolacrimal duct.

- Puncta
o 0.3 mm in diameter located medially on the upper and lower eyelid margins
o Located on an elevated mound known as papilla lacrimalis
o Characterized by avascular tendencies and lateral traction of the lid
o Tears within the medial canthal area enter the puncta to pass into the canaliculi
The puncta are the focus of the nasolacrimal system, as it is where all traditional DCR

procedures start from.

Using ABS fiber, a prototype model of a patients true orbital skull

was made through 3-D printing in Dr. Mancinis office. However, this was not modeled rather,

a real human skull was 3-D scanned and rendered to print. My Original Work differs from this

because I am actually modeling the skull bit by bit a tiresome and tedious process but one that

is totally worth it. I am learning how the human body works by utilizing contemporary software

programs and cutting-edge printing processes. At the same time, my end goals for the project

inspire me: to create something used in education is possibly one of the greatest services a person

can do. I know that I want to do that in the future, so my Original Work is just the beginning.