Standard Operating Procedures

The objective of Bakeng se Afrika is to develop and manage a comprehensive digital imaging repository of South Africans skeletal remains as a capacity building resource for improvement in internationalization of Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s). Establishing universal Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for utilizing and sharing digital images are paramount for medical and biomedical professionals. Outputs will impact teaching and research in HEI’s, forensic science, healthcare, and business such as dental implant companies.

The development of SOP’s will provide management and ethical guidelines for current and future researchers. Future curriculum development in health sciences and collaborative research is dependent on the ease of access to digital data. Teaching facilitation will improve in HEI’s with the use of 2D and 3D reconstructed scan images of anatomical structures in online modalities, flipped classrooms and blended learning techniques, which will be beneficial in to capacity building and internalization of all HEI’s. Research outputs will impact education and business and will be a benefit to the health and safety of communities. Forensic sciences will benefit from computerized programmes to approximate the face from unknown remains, novel methods for establishing a biological profile for an unidentified person, new technologies in artificial intelligences and health informatics. South Africans will benefit from the optimisation and customisation of the dental implant and prosthetic designs as well as endodontic and orthodontic therapies. Periodontology partners will develop screening tools to combat the worldwide threat on non-communicable disease.  

One of the aims of this project is to develop quality assurance guidelines via SOP's for the aquisition, storage, access and ethical use of the images in this database and thus ensure long-term sustainability, safe storage and documentation of digital data. Here are a few examples of SOP's currently being written and developed:

  • Pre-scanning procedures, including selection of skeletal material for micro-XCT scaning, transportation of skeletal material from a collection to the scanning facility, etc.
  • Scanning procedures, including bone preparation, bone mounting and stabilisation in a micro-XCT, selection of optimal scanning parameters, etc.
  • Reconstruction procedures: general guidelines on the reconstruction of micro-XCT projection data according to the type of bone, selection of optimal reconstruction parameters, of output formats, etc.
  • Stitching long bones scanned in several parts: step-by-step tutorial fo 2D or 3D procedures.
  • Photographs of bones: set up, pre- and post-processing procedure according to the type of bone (crania, mandibles, long bones).



Published by Clarisa van der Merwe

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