By Michael Dhar, Contributing writer
Published: 11/20/2013 10:08 AM EST on LiveScience
How much practice would you want your brain surgeon to have? Probably a lot -- and the more specific that practice is to your particular brain, the better.
Now, by combining models of brains made on 3D printers
and images of simulated surgery, faculty at the University of Florida (UF) are making sure their surgeons get just this kind of training.
Researchers at the university have developed a unique "mixed reality" surgery simulator that gives doctors-in-training a chance to perform real surgery techniques on 3D-printed models
derived from actual patients' brains and skulls. Researchers create the models by feeding MRI and CT scans taken from previous patients into 3D printers. Simulated skin covers the printed skulls.