Medicine and Engineering Join Forces to Restore Disfigured Faces (video) National Science Foundation Share Print E-Mail Loading video... Caption Patients who have suffered devastating facial injuries sometimes go to great lengths to hide themselves from public view. "I've had patients come to me wearing motorcycle helmets, with the visor pulled down," says Michael Miller, chair of plastic surgery at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center. "I remember one patient who came to see me wearing a beekeeper hat, with a wide brim and the veil pulled over her face. This is the only way she would go out in public. So, early on in my career, I became very interested in finding better ways to restore a normal appearance and function for people." And, Miller has always had an interest in engineering, as well as medicine. "There's a tremendous overlap between restorative surgery and engineering because both professions are problem solvers," he says. One state away, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, civil and mechanical engineer Glaucio Paulino saw the possibilities of combining engineering and medical skills to tackle the complex challenge of facial reconstruction. With support from the National Science Foundation, Miller and Paulino are now working together, using technology called "topology optimization" to one-day rebuild faces, and lives! Credit Marsha Walton, Science Nation Producer Usage Restrictions This video may only be used with appropriate caption or credit. Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.