Tag Archives: baby

3D Printing Saves Baby’s Life with Biopolymer Tracheal Implant

Kaiba 3D Printed Splint Medical First

Baby Saved by 3D Printed Device

Kaiba Gionfriddo has severe tracheomalacia, a condition where the trachea collapses when increased airflow is required. Tracheomalacia is a rare condition that occurs in about 1 in 2,200 children.

“He was six weeks old when we were at a restaurant for dinner one night when he stopped breathing and turned blue on us,” explained Kaiba Gionfriddo’s mother.

Kaiba’s parents had no choice but to watch helplessly as their baby stopped breathing nearly every day, until University of Michigan doctors  saved his life using a device created with a 3D printer.

Breakthrough Medical Procedure

The doctors used 3D modeling software to design a splint that would fit perfectly to Kaiba’s trachea. Then with the help of 3D printing, they quickly constructed the splint to be used as an implant.

Dr. Glenn Green of the University of Michigan said, “We obtained imaging of his defect with a CT scan. Scott Hollister rapidly went about designing a splint that would meet this need. This is the first time this procedure has been done anywhere in the world.”

The doctors used a biopolymer – a plastic that can be used in the body – as the material in a 3D printer to create the splint that was then placed over the top of the bronchus.

“It was amazing,” said Dr. Green, “As soon as the splint was put in, the lungs started going up and down for the first time. We knew he would be okay.”

Below is a video of Kaiba’s incredible story.


About University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital

Since 1903, the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital has led the way in providing comprehensive, specialized health care for children. From leading-edge heart surgery that’s performed in the womb to complete emergency care that’s there when you need it, families from all over come to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital for our pediatric expertise. In 2013, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital was ranked eighth in the nation in Parents Magazine’s 10 Best Children’s Hospitals ranking. Learn more about The Michigan Difference at www.mottchildren.org.


Hat tip to Hack Things for this story.

Top 3D Printing Headlines Last Week: Stocks Up, Baby Spoons, Boot Camp

2D 3D Printing

A roundup of the top news On 3D Printing brought you from November 26 to December 2.

MIT Team Uses 3D Printing to Invent the Smarter Baby Spoon

Spuni 3D Printing Baby Spoon

A pair of MIT grads are looking to reinvent the baby spoon, and they are using 3D printing to perfect their design.

The product is called Spuni, and it is inspired by how babies eat. Why are today’s infant spoons just shrunk down versions of adult spoons? Nothing is adapted to the ergonomic needs of a child.

The Spuni team set off to create the perfect design, first creating prototypes in wood and later employing 3D printing to refine the shape and fabricate spoons that they could test on real babies.

Now the team is ready to scale up manufacturing for fulfillment to customers in April 2013. To do so, Spuni is looking to raise $35,000 on Indiegogo.

Here’s the opening pitch from the team’s Indiegogo page:

There comes a point in a baby’s life when he or she starts eating solid food. For parents, this means more cleaning. For a baby, a face full of food that needs to be wiped. This eating is messy. One reason? Most baby spoons are smaller versions of adult spoons, and they are not ergonomically engineered to help a baby transition to solids.

Spuni is not just a small spoon. Spuni’s unique “tulip” profile is designed to trigger the instinctive latching reaction that babies develop during breast and bottle feeding. It allows a baby to suck food off the spoon with less spillover, making each meal a more pleasurable experience for all.

Although the original prototypes were created using 3D printing, the Spuni team expects to manufacture spoons that are in accordance with best practices for baby products.

The mass produced spoons will be made through a three-step injection-mold process. The rigid inner structure is made from colored Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) with a softer over-molded transparent TPE outer material. These materials are dishwasher safe, non-toxic and Phthalate (BPA & BPS) and PVC free. We believe that Spuni will offer the best spoon for babies when it comes to contemporary material selection, safety and tactile experience.

And watch their full video here: