DOI: 10.1002/alz.079991 ISSN: 1552-5260

Applications of hybrid structure light three‐dimensional scanning in neurodegenerative disease autopsy brain banking

Savannah Barannikov, Mallory Keating, Sudha Seshadri, Kevin F Bieniek
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Health Policy
  • Epidemiology



Postmortem magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and three‐dimensional (3D) printing has been demonstrated to be a feasible approach for the creation of tissue matrices to aid in postmortem brain dissection. We aimed to extend this approach using hybrid structure light technology (visible and infrared) 3D scanning to generate brain models as a digital resource and operational tool for human neurodegenerative disease brain banks.


A consecutive series of 56 brains accessioned into the Glenn Biggs Institute Brain Bank were imaged using an EinScan H handheld 3D scanner. Five brains were selected for generation of tissue matrices, with infratentorial structures removed using 3D object post‐processing software tools. Matrices were printed using a Raise3D Pro2 printer and 1.75‐mm polylactic acid premium filament.


Each scan was approximately an hour to complete, including capture and alignment of a lateral and a medial surface scan for each brain. Raw scan files (DAT and BRAP‐PRJ) averaged 5.47 GB and 3D object files were 12,991 KB for 3MF and 18,067 KB for OBJ file types. For cases with tissue matrices, average print time was 42 hours with an average filament consumption of 338 g. Brain cutting with the tissue matrices was performed in a standardized manner, with superb control for section thickness and planar orientation compared to brains cut without a matrix.


3D scanning of postmortem autopsied brains is a simple and useful strategy to generate models with utility in guided tissue sectioning and storage (practice), surface area volumetric analysis (research) and virtual reality/augmented reality neuroanatomy training (education) for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

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