In a report published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, two medical professionals from the University of Michigan describe how they used a 3D-printed device that they had created and manufactured themselves to save the life of a baby who had a potentially deadly respiratory condition.

Doctors Use 3D Printer to Custom-Design Implant For Baby

The child’s airway is being kept open by this biodegradable plastic device, which also aids in his normal breathing.

Doctors Use 3D Printer to Custom-Design Implant For Baby

The infant, Kaiba Gionfriddo, suffered from tracheobronchomalacia, which caused one of his lungs’ airways to collapse. His sickness prevented him from breathing in enough oxygen and releasing enough carbon dioxide.

He was just six weeks old when, while dining out with his family, he started to turn blue. He needed a breathing tube put into his trachea at the age of two months in order to ensure his survival.

Doctor Glenn Green, an associate professor of paediatric otolaryngology at the University of Michigan, was consulted by Kaiba’s medical professionals.

Kaiba’s tracheal splint was constructed just for him by him and University of Michigan biomedical engineering professor Scott Hollister, Ph.D., who used a CT scan of Kaiba’s airway to guide the device’s design.

After receiving immediate permission from the Food and Drug Administration, they applied the splint to Kaiba’s left lung’s bronchus on February 9, 2012.

We believe the materials we utilised are excellent for this.”

Hollister remarked in a press release released by Michigan. “The time required for this substance to be absorbed by the body will be approximately equal to the two to three years required for the trachea to regenerate and develop into a healthy state.

Final Words

One industry where 3D printing has proven to be useful and potentially game-changing is medicine. Along with its speed, quality, and adaptability, printing has expanded into a wide range of applications.

Researchers are enhancing existing medical 3D printing applications and looking for new ones.

With 3D printing, significant and promising medical advances have already been accomplished, but new ground-breaking uses like producing human organs would need to be developed.