Computerized color formulation for African-Canadian people requiring facial prostheses: a pilot study

T J Coward, R Seelaus, S Y Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of spectrophotometry and a computerized color formulation system to predict pigment formulas for color mixing silicone elastomer to match the skin color of African-Canadian people.

Materials and Methods: In a prospective study, reflectance spectrophotometery was used to measure the skin color of 19 African-Canadian subjects. The spectral data for each subject was used in a computerized color formulation system to predict colorants required to mix silicone elastomer to match each subject's skin color. Delta-E values were recorded for each silicone sample in comparison to the subject's skin measurement. An analysis of variance was used to determine significance among variables, and a Tukey HSD post hoc test was used to assess paired comparisons.

Results: Delta-E decreased with iterative mixes of colored silicone for each subject, and pigment loading increased with iterative mixes. Delta-E values for the third iterative mix (fourth and final sample) ranged between 1.49 and 8.82.

Conclusion: Spectrophotometry and computerized color formulation provide a foundation in the color matching procedure for facial prostheses that offers objectivity to an otherwise subjective task. Through further study of spectrophotometry and computerized color formulation, and with the development of pigment databases appropriate for the African-Canadian population, it may be possible to establish a precise and repeatable color matching system that predicts required colorants and controls metamerism.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)327-335
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of prosthodontics : official journal of the American College of Prosthodontists
Issue number4
Early online date16 Jan 2008
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


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