Tag Archives: medical

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.

Invest in Bioprinting to Get a 3D Printed Ear or New Hip: 3D Printing Conference (Part 3)

Cornell Prof 3D Prints Human Ear

Business Cases for Medical 3D Printing, or Bioprinting

Two well-respected speakers in the medical 3D printing field presented today at the Inside 3D Printing conference.

Cornell Professor Lawrence J. Bonassar, Ph.D.

Cornell Professor Lawrence J. Bonassar presented about “3D Fabrication Technologies for Tissue Regeneration.” We wrote about Bonassar’s research in February when he published the concept of 3D printing a human ear.

In his presentation, Bonassar provided the crowded conference hall with an overview of the key bioprinting motivations and applications.

There are approximately 5 million surgeries per year in the US to replace damaged tissues. This is a huge market opportunity for synthetic, bioprinted implants. His team is already looking at research such as replacing spinal discs, demonstrated in rats and dogs, or growing organic tissue like a human ear.

During the Q&A, Bonassar was asked: “This is great research, but is there a way to accelerate it into the marketplace?” Bonassar immediately responded, “Yes, money. There are certain applications that are ready today but just need funding.”

Investors, are you listening?

Andy Christensen, Medical Modeling

The next speaker was Andy Christensen, owner of Denver-based Medical Modeling, who presented on “Industrial 3D Printing for Medical Devices.”

Christensen shared a wealth of examples and ideas, as well as practical commercial commentary, “The cost of surgery is roughly $100 per minute. That’s a business case for 3D printed medical implants.”

He described the current status of FDA approvals for polymeric systems made using 3D printing and additive manufacturing technologies. There are instrument components being cleared, dating back to dental implant drill guides 5 to 7 years ago. European regulation has historically been easier but that may not last.

The focus ahead will be on personalized surgery and efficiency. One example he described is virtual surgical planning, where a surgeon and engineer walk through a pre-operation plan together with sophisticated 3D models. This can save time, money, and reduce recovery time.

Very interesting presentation and clearly a growth area for investors to get involved!


Top 3D Printing News Last Week: Cube, iPhone, Mars, Prosthetic Face

3D Printing News

3D Printing News

A roundup of the top 3D printing news from April 1 to April 7:

3D Printing Research: Liquid Droplets Lead Way to Drug Delivery

3D Printing Research Liquid Droplets

3D Printing Research: Liquid Droplets

3D printers don’t build only solid objects anymore. They also build liquid objects, thanks to a research team at the University of Oxford.

Microscopic water-filled, lipid-coated droplets pop from a printer’s nozzles and stick to one another to form patterned structures. The researchers envision the clusters’ use in future tissue engineering. They also demonstrate the construction of a flowerlike droplet network that curls into a sphere because of osmosis. This self-folding behavior, the research team contends, might be put to use in drug delivery systems someday.

Watch the video below to learn more about this research.

Medical 3D Printing Breakthrough: Man Gets a New 3D Printed Face

Medical 3D Printing Facelift

Medical 3D Printing Breakthrough

In a medical 3D printing breakthrough, a man who suffered disfiguration from cancer gets a new prosthetic face and improved quality of life.

Four years ago, Briton Eric Moger was diagnosed with cancer when doctors found a tumor the size of a tennis ball growing inside his face. Moger immediately underwent surgery to remove the tumor, but the procedure also left him disfigured, literally missing part of his face.

In what is considered a first procedure of its kind, UK doctors have used medical 3D printing technology to create a new prosthetic face for Moger that matches the tone of his skin and includes a cheek, eye, and eyebrow.

The medical team used 3D scanning technology to develop a model of 60-year-old Moger’s face and then printed the prosthetic in nylon plastic.

In addition to giving Moger a more appealing look, the 3D printed face is also functional; it keeps water from spilling out of the cavity left behind from surgery when he drinks.

This is quite a medical breakthrough. In other examples, medical 3D printing techniques has been used to 3D print a new beak for a injured bald eagle and quickly fabricate a new titanium jaw for a woman inflicted with an infection.

The doctors hope that in the future these types of prosthetics can be printed in silicon for a more comfortable and even more natural look.


Via The Telegraph.

Photo credit: Geoff Pugh for the Telegraph