Recently, the internet has been buzzing about the successful face transplant performed by a medical team from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

In his early twenties, Andy Sandness attempted suicide with a high-powered rifle, failed, and was left with severe facial injuries. He would live with the reminder for the next ten years. Fortunately, advancement in medical 3D printing has given Andy the chance of a normal life once again.

The surgery followed months of research, cross reference medical disciplines and a collaboration with medical modeling engineers. The latter contributed greatly to both planning and execution.

‘Using this technology of 3D modeling printing, a virtual surgical planning is extremely beneficial. They would have cutting guides that we would clip on the bones, they would give us the exact location and angle of the cut, so when we took the donor’s face and put it to the recipient it would fit perfectly.’ – Samir Mardini, M.D.

Samir Mardini is Plastic Surgeon, Face Transplant and Surgical Director at Essam and Dalal Obaid Center for Reconstructive Transplant Surgery at Mayo Clinic

Collaborations between medics and engineers are one of the most disruptive ones because their results bring the world closer and closer to overcoming conditions and provide second chances to people who may have never got them otherwise.